Maine State Police closed a portion of Route 11 in Charleson (also known as the Main Road) Monday due to what they called a serious crash. They advised motorists to use alternate routes, such as Center Road or School Road, to avoid the area.

Maine Department of Public Safety Spokesperson Shannon Moss said the motor vehicle accident took place just before 7 AM Monday.

Charleston Crash, courtesy of Maine Department of Public Safety
Charleston Crash, courtesy of Maine Department of Public Safety

"A 2019 Chevy Silverado pickup, driven by 44-year-old Peter Speed of Bradford was traveling southbound on Main Road when he failed to navigate a corner and crashed head-on into a 2011 GMC Acadia driven by 74-year-old Stephen Hurd of Corinth. Hurd was transported to Northern Light EMMC with serious but non-life-threatening injuries."

Moss said Speed was not injured in the crash.

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A little over an hour later, State Police reopened Route 11.

While the crash remains under investigation, Moss says it's believed "driver distraction" was the cause of the accident.

The National Highway Safety and Transportation Administration says distracted driving causes about 280,000 injuries and about 3,000 deaths per year.

"Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving. Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed."

The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety puts the number of traffic fatalities in Maine, to date, at 125 this year.

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