MOUNT DESERT — A multiple-vehicle accident last Wednesday at the northern intersection of Hall Quarry Road and Route 102 turned out to be fatal when the Ohio man who was taken to a Bangor hospital via Lifeflight helicopter died at the hospital the next day.
But 35-year-old Caleb Cooperrider’s heart, lungs and liver were all able to be donated to people who needed them, according to a post on an online fundraising campaign set up by friends to help get his body home to Ohio.
Police are still investigating the crash. Cooperrider was “never conscious enough for us to interview him,” Captain David Kerns told the Islander, but the crash reconstruction and all related evidence are required to be filed with the state for all fatal accidents.
According to the police report, which was based on evidence gathered at the crash scene and eyewitness accounts, a Honda Accord driven by Cooperrider was traveling fast on Route 102, reportedly crossed into the opposite lane and struck an oncoming vehicle.
The oncoming vehicle was a Nissan Rogue driven by Mark O’Brien, 35, of Staten Island, N.Y. It was reportedly thrown off the roadway due to the impact and came to rest in a ditch. The Honda then reportedly struck the driver’s side rear corner of a southbound 2010 Honda CRV operated by Zachary Nerod, 25, of Denver, Colo.
The Honda continued southbound in the northbound lane for some distance before coming to rest on series of rock ledges near the entrance of northern Hall Quarry Road.
O’Brien and a passenger both suffered injuries and were taken to Mount Desert Island Hospital for evaluation and treatment. Both the Honda and the Nissan were heavily damaged. Debris from the collision also struck a northbound Honda CRV operated by Diana Lindquist, 65, of Southwest Harbor, causing minor damage.
Cooperrider led a nonprofit called Dude Charity, apparently inspired by the film “The Big Lebowski,” which supports central Ohio community organizations by helping “dudes” (broadly defined) get involved “in positively affecting their community.”
“Dude on to others as you would have them dude on to you,” the group’s website says. “Being ‘dude’ is about remaining calm and chill, not worrying about things out of your control and an overall takin’ er easy.”
Route 102 was closed for about three hours the evening of the crash; traffic was rerouted through Pretty March. Multiple agencies assisted at the accident scene, including the Mount Desert, Bar Harbor and Southwest Harbor fire departments, the Northeast Harbor Ambulance Service, the Southwest Harbor/Tremont Ambulance Service and Acadia National Park rangers. State police assisted with mapping and reconstruction assistance.