MOUNT DESERT — Despite the best efforts of local paramedics and a quick response by the LifeFlight helicopter ambulance service, a Saco man died at the scene of a car accident Sunday near the Southwest Harbor town line.
Christopher Colman, 28, was a driving a Ford Escape northbound just before noon when he lost control on the icy road and the car slid sideways into the oncoming lane, police said.
Many Mount Desert Island roads had a substantial layer of ice for several days following last Thursday’s storm, when rain and sleet were followed by severe cold (see related story).
Brandon Pinkham of Southwest Harbor also was headed north, behind the car driven by Colman, and said he watched the accident unfold.
Scott Alley of Southwest Harbor was driving a red Dodge pickup southbound, Pinkham said. Alley reportedly slowed as quickly as possible, headed to the side of the road and tried to stop.
Both vehicles were moving when they collided, but Pinkham thought the car was going faster than the truck.
“Scott tried to do everything he could do avoid it,” Pinkham said.
The impact would be fatal for Colman and send Alley to the hospital with potential broken bones.
Pinkham stopped to see if Colman needed help. Despite a badly injured arm, Alley also got out of his vehicle to see if the other driver was hurt.
Colman appeared to be conscious but in a lot of pain, Pinkham said.
He was extricated from his vehicle by firefighters and paramedics from the Southwest Harbor Fire Department and the Southwest Harbor-Tremont Ambulance Service.
Paramedics cared for Colman, who was in critical condition, and called LifeFlight for assistance. The helicopter landed on the road, which had been closed to traffic in both directions.
“He died of his injuries prior to being transported,” a police statement said.
Sgt. Chad Wilmot of the Ellsworth Police Department performed a reconstruction of the crash scene.
The Mount Desert Fire Department, Tremont Volunteer Fire Department and Northeast Harbor Ambulance Service assisted in the accident response.
Updated Jan. 10, 10:59 a.m.