Driver fatigue suspected in Union crash

Apr 25, 2019
Courtesy of: Knox County Sheriff's Office

Union — Driver fatigue is suspected to be the cause of a head-on crash April 17 that injured two people, according to the Knox County Sheriff's Office.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Merton Sawyer, 55, of Rockland, was driving a Toyota truck and for an unknown reason, crossed the center line of Route 17.

His truck struck a Chevy car driven by Jesse Spencer, 31, of Rockland.

A news release from the Sheriff's Office stated that it is not known why Sawyer crossed out of his lane, but Deputy Matthew Elwell believes that Sawyer fell asleep because of fatigue. The deputy said there was no impairment detected.

Sawyer is expected to be issued a summons by Elwell this week for the traffic violation of failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle.

Both drivers are in good condition, according to the Sheriff's Office.

An initial statement issued by the department after the crash incorrectly stated which vehicle crossed the road.

The crash occurred shortly after 8 p.m. near Union Agway.

Both drivers had to be removed by rescue crews because of the extent of the damage to the vehicles. They were taken to medical facilities with injuries. One driver was taken by air to a trauma center.

Neither vehicle had passengers and both were towed from the scene.

The Sheriff's Office was assisted by Knox Regional Communications, Union Fire and EMS, Waldoboro EMS and LifeFlight of Maine.

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