ROCKPORT — Following a two-car head-on crash on Route 90 in Rockport, just west of the Meadow Street traffic light, firefighters worked fast with extrication tools to rescue a woman trapped behind the wheel of a PT Cruiser sedan.
The crash occurred just after dusk around 5:30 p.m. this evening, Nov. 1, as a cold rain fell and temperatures hovered around 37 F.
According to Rockport Police Officer Dana Smith, Lynn Vogt, 61, of Woburn, Mass., was heading west on Route 90 in her Cruiser. Amanda Simmons, 40, of Rockport, was driving west in a 2009 Dodge Caravan.
Simmons apparently dropped her cellphone and reached down to retrieve. As she did, she crossed the centerline and struck the driver’s side of the Cruiser, said Smith.
The Cruiser sheared off the road into the bushes and the Caravan did a 180-degree turn in the road.
Simmons did not have the headlights on, said Smith, which is likely, he added, why Vogt did not see the Caravan veering toward her.
Billy and Heather Smith, of Rockport, were heading to dinner when they came upon the crash, and discovered that Vogt was unresponsive and not breathing.
Smith, a Rockport firefighter and Rockland police officer, got in the back seat, and adjusted her head and neck to clear her airway.
“She stopped breathing altogether, so he adjusted her head and opened her airway back up,” said Rockport Fire Chief Jason Peasley.
She remained unconscious for a few minutes and then regained consciousness. Her ankle and leg, however, were also severely injured.
Simmons had a sore knee. She was taken to Pen Bay Medical Center, and subsequently treated and released.
Firefighters used cutters and spreaders to cut both doors off the driver’s side of the car to get to Vogt. They also removed the post between the front and back seats, and cut the dashboard away from her legs.
“Because of her condition the lead paramedic just wanted her out ASAP,” said Rockport Fire Chief Jason Peasley.
Paramedics from North East Mobile Health treated Vogt at the scene and transported her to Pen Bay Medical Center. As of 11 p.m., she was transported to Eastern Maine Medical Center, in Bangor, because of her ankle and foot injuries, said Smith.
Smith was assisted at the scene by Knox County Sheriff Department’s Sgt. John Palmer and Deputy Jeremy Joslyn.
Later, Sgt. Kenneth Smith, of Rockland Police Department, arrived to reconstruct the crash, with the help of Knox County Sheriff’s Department forensic mappers Lt. Kirk Guerrette, Lt. Reginald Walker and Detective Dwight Burtis.
Dana Smith attributed the crash to driver inattention, and has charged Simmons with driving to endanger.
More charges may be pending, he said, as the investigation continues.
Editorial Director Lynda Clancy can be reached at lyndaclancy@PenBayPilot.com; 207-706-6657