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Woman checking mail dodges pinball Rochester crash; police say speed, alcohol factors

July 14. 2018 8:41PM
Michael Gilfert, 57, the driver of this Pontiac Grand Am in the yard of 76 Betts Road in Rochester, suffered serious injuries, his female passenger was also hurt. Police allege alcohol and speed contributed to the wreck. (Courtesy)


ROCHESTER — Three people were hospitalized with serious injuries following two suspected drunk driving incidents Friday evening.

Around 7 p.m., police responded to 76 Betts Road, where they found a damaged 2004 Pontiac Grand Am on the lawn a few feet away from a barn.

The driver, Michael Gilfert, 57, of Rochester, had sustained head injuries and was unconscious. He was flown to Portsmouth Regional Hospital.

The female passenger was awake but also injured. She was taken to Frisbie Memorial Hospital.

Neither had been wearing a seat belt.

Investigators reconstructing the crash said Gilfert lost control of the car while traveling westbound on Betts Road. He drove off the road into a pile of rocks and logs and then swerved back into the roadway, according to a statement from the Rochester Police Department.

Gilfert then drove into the eastbound lane, nearly striking a woman who was checking her mailbox before swerving back across the westbound lane, off the road, and into a sign, police said.

He allegedly continued to drive back and forth across Betts Road before hitting a boulder and coming to a stop on the lawn where police found the car.

Police suspect alcohol and speed were factors in the incident, according to the statement. No charges have been filed, but they are forthcoming, police said.

Around 11 p.m. Friday, police responded to the area of 100 Ten Rod Road for a single-car rollover crash. A 2007 Nissan Altima was laying on its driver’s side with the driver, Heather Roland, 29, of Rochester, unconscious inside, the department said in a statement.

After stabilizing the vehicle, the Rochester Fire Department and Frisbie EMS extracted Roland, who had not been wearing a seatbelt. She was airlifted to Maine Medical Center.

Alcohol appears to have been a factor in that crash, police said, and criminal charges may be forthcoming.

Anyone with information about the crashes is asked to call (603) 330-7128.

Public Safety Rochester

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