Saturday, March 8, 2014
WATERVILLE — An Oakland man was killed early Saturday morning when the brand-new sports car he was driving at high speed hit a utility pole with such force that the engine block was torn out of the vehicle.
Estanislao Garcia, 24, of Oakland, was killed in what Waterville police Chief Joseph Massey called a “horrific crash,” while his passenger, Mitchell Lougee, of Nashua, N.H., also 24, was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center with injuries.
Massey said alcohol is believed to have played a “major role” in the accident.
The 2013 Subaru, which Garcia bought only a few days ago, was moving west on Webb Road at speeds Massey estimated to be “well above” 80 mph when it crested a hill just before the Interstate 95 overpass and went airborne. When the car hit the road, it careened out of control.
“He hit the first pole on the left side, snapped that pole off, spun around, continued down the road, hit the second pole, hit that pole and split it right up to the top,” Massey said. “It was a tremendous impact.”
The car’s engine block was found 40 to 50 feet away from the engine compartment.
Massey said responding officers from the Oakland and Waterville police departments called in tracking dogs from the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department because they initially couldn’t locate the driver’s body and thought he might have fled the scene.
Eventually, Waterville police Officer Jason Longley walked farther down the road, where he discovered Garcia. Medical responders confirmed he was dead shortly thereafter.
Massey praised the work of emergency responders from Waterville, Oakland and Kennebec County in dealing with the unusually violent scene.
“It was a very difficult thing for public safety and EMS folks to deal with, but they did a good job,” he said.
Police were alerted to the accident when Lougee, who suffered facial injuries in the crash but still was able to walk, flagged down a passing motorist, who called 911 about 1:20 a.m.
Police are investigating the events that led to the accident and creating a report that will reconstruct the accident itself, at which time a final determination will be made about whether criminal charges will be filed.
Massey said no charges are expected, as the existing evidence seems to support the testimony of Lougee, who identified Garcia as the driver. DNA evidence collected from both airbags in the vehicle will be used to aid the investigation, Massey said.
Central Maine Power Co. employees replaced the utility poles Saturday morning. The car wreckage was impounded to assist in the investigation.
Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287