A well-known substance abuse counselor from Lincoln County died in a car crash Thursday, according to a news release issued by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

Killed in the crash was 80-year-old William “Bill” Ellsworth, of Newcastle. Ellsworth worked in concert with the sheriff’s office for more than 20 years as a substance abuse counselor.

“Though not employed by the county, he was truly a party of the sheriff’s office family,” Lt. Brendan Kane said in the release.

Ellsworth’s Ford Escape collided with a 2005 Chevrolet Avalanche on Route 1 in Nobleboro around 7:50 a.m., Kane said. Ronald Shellman, 45, of Waldoboro, was driving the Avalanche, and was attempting to turn left onto Back Meadow Road when the vehicles struck one another.

Ellsworth died at Lincoln Health Miles Campus emergency room in Damariscotta. His wife, Lois Ellsworth, suffered broken bones and was to Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Shellman was treated for injuries and released from a hospital.

Alcohol and drugs are not believed to have been factors in the collision, but blood samples were taken – standard procedure in fatal accidents. Kane said it was too early in the department’s investigation to determine if speed was a factor.

“Bill worked closely with many people in and out of the correctional setting. He pioneered the Lincoln County Outreach program that has brought recovery services into our community and to help those in need,” Kane said. “His honest and sincere approach to recovery from substance abuse has touched many lives here in Lincoln County over the past 22 years. Bill will be sorely missed.”

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

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