A Lewiston man who was in a car crash early Sunday told police he was stuck for three hours in the deep gully his car crashed into off Route 196 in Topsham.

Sadak Kariye, 27, was driving a 1991 Honda north when he went off the road near West Merrill Road, said Topsham police Sgt. Robert Ramsay.

“The car went (a) long ways off the road and ended up in a deep gully,” Ramsay said. “He could not be seen from the road.”

An off-duty Lisbon police officer heading home after her shift found Kariye bleeding beside the road about 7 a.m. He was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

He told police he estimated he had been down in the gully for three hours. It was not clear why it took him so long to get out and police said they have not had a chance to interview him because of his injuries.

“It was probably the combination of where he ended up and his injuries” that kept him in the gully for so long, Ramsay said.

The car was down such a steep gully that a regular tow truck couldn’t get it out and a special heavy-duty one had to be called in, Ramsay said.

The crash occurred at the bottom of hill that ends in a curve, Ramsay said. Police speculate that Kariye may have fallen asleep. There were no signs of alcohol at the scene and the crash occurred before it had started snowing, he said.

The crash was about a quarter-mile from where a 17-year-old Topsham girl went off the road in 2009 and down into a ravine. She survived in her car for two days before an alert Topsham officer spotted a slight skid mark in the dirt that pointed toward a broken tree, which eventually led police to her car 40 to 50 feet down a ravine.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

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