WEST BATH — A judge will decide whether a blood sample, taken from a Hope woman charged with two counts of manslaughter for a January crash in Woolwich that killed a couple, can be used at her upcoming trial.

Danielle Ward

Justice Daniel Billings took the defense motion to exclude the blood test under advisement in the case of 35-year-old Danielle R. Ward following a hearing that concluded Tuesday in Sagadahoc County, according to Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Baroody.

Ward was indicted in June by a Sagadahoc County grand jury for two counts of manslaughter, three counts of aggravated criminal operating under the influence, two counts of driving to endanger and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

The crash occurred Jan. 21 on Route 1 just north of the Taste of Maine Restaurant.

Baroody said the trial is likely to be held during the second or third week of March.

The defense is seeking to have the blood test results excluded from the upcoming trial, questioning the way the sample was handled.


The test showed drugs in her system.

The crash claimed the lives of 70-year-old Robert S. Martin and his 76-year-old wife, Carolyn W. Martin, both of Woolwich. Robert Martin died at the scene and Carolyn Martin died en route to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston on a LifeFlight helicopter.

Robert Martin was driving a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe sports utility vehicle south on Route 1 when the 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe, driven by Ward and carrying six children as passengers, veered into the oncoming lane, the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office reported immediately after the crash. The children ranged in age from 5 to 12 years old, according to the police affidavit. Two of the children in the vehicle were Ward’s.

The maximum possible sentence for manslaughter in Maine is 30 years in prison.

The endangering the welfare of a child charges include one for her children and one for the other children, according to the prosecutor.

All seven people in Ward’s vehicle were taken to Maine Medical Center. A 5-year-old suffered a broken back, an 11-year-old had internal bleeding, a 12-year-old complained of abdominal pain, a 10-year-old had head trauma, a 7-year-old had an abdominal injury, and a 9-year-old had a fractured knee, the affidavit said.


A deputy’s inspection of the scene of the crash found no tire marks from Ward’s vehicle prior to the crash. He could not determine if there were tire marks from the Martins’ vehicle, because fluids from the vehicles covered that section of the road.

A paramedic told police that Ward had mentioned to him that she might have hit black ice prior to the crash. There was no evidence of black ice in the area at the time of the crash and the temperature was about 40 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the affidavit. The crash occurred shortly after 6 p.m.

The deputy interviewed the 12-year-old passenger in Ward’s vehicle on the day after the crash, and she said a video was playing in the DVD system in the vehicle.

The deputy also listed Ward’s driving record in the affidavit, pointing out that she had 13 convictions and six crashes in the past 11 years. Those convictions included two for operating under the influence — in 2013 and 2008. The most recent crash was Aug. 24, 2016, in Thomaston, in which there were no injuries.

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