An Otisfield man died in a single-vehicle crash over the weekend, while allegedly fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run.

Have Officials Identified the Deceased Driver?

The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office was called to the scene of a single-vehicle crash late Sunday evening and found 19-year-old Ethan Gardner of Otisfield deceased. An investigation into the crash led them to connect Gardner to another incident that had happened just prior.

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How Did the Two Crashes Happen?

An investigation into the circumstances of the crash determined that Gardner's Volkswagon Jetta struck the back of a Chevrolet truck in Naples at around 1:30 Sunday afternoon. The truck, driven by 59-year-old Evert Kinser of Naples, was stopped at a traffic light, near the intersection of Routes 302 and 35 in Naples. According to the Sun Journal, witnesses gave investigators a description of the vehicle that fled the scene before the Deputies arrived. That description was consistent with Gardner's Jetta. They told authorities that the vehicle left the scene, traveling north on Route 35, toward Harrison.

When officials went looking for Gardner's vehicle, they found it a short distance north of the original crash site, on Route 35. The Jetta had crossed the road and struck a tree, head-on. Gardner died at the scene.

Were There Any Contributing Factors?

Route 35 was closed for quite a while, to allow accident reconstructionists to determine the chain of events. This crash remains under investigation, but the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office says speed appears to have been a factor. Gardner's driver's license was reportedly under suspension, at the time of the incident.

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