2012-02-17 / Front Page

Driver whose truck flew through air and crushed Bowdoin shed charged with felony OUI

BY DARCIE MOORE Times Record Staff

BOWDOIN — The Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Department arrested a Topsham man for operating under the influence of drugs after he crashed his vehicle into a shed Friday morning on Lewis Hill Road in Bowdoin.

Deputy Matt Sharpe responded to the crash, which was reported at 9:46 a.m. at 284 Lewis Hill Road. No one was injured but Sharpe arrested the driver of the single vehicle involved — Barry Lubee, 33, of 193 Foreside Road, Topsham — and charged him with Class C felony operating under the influence of drugs, and violation of conditions of release.

Sharpe said Lubee was driving a 1994 GMC pickup truck south on Lewis Hill Road at a high rate of speed, according to a witness. The truck failed to negotiate a turn and left the roadway. It careened across a field and smashed into an old wooden shed on the property.

After the pickup truck struck the shed, Sharpe said, it entered the roadway again, crossing to the opposite side and crashing head-first into a ditch.

When Sharpe arrived at the crash scene, he suspected that Lubee, the sole occupant, seemed impaired. Sharpe conducted a field sobriety test that confirmed his first impression, so he arrested Lubee and took him to the Topsham police department.

Lubee complained of pain and was evaluated by Bowdoin EMS. He refused transport to a hospital.

Bath Police Department’s Cpl. Marc Brunelle, a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), came to the station and based on his and Sharpe’s observations, “we believed he was under the influence of drugs,” Sharpe said.

A blood sample was sent to a lab, and within three to four weeks, the toxicology results should come back.

Sharpe also did a bail check on Lubee and found he had bail conditions in place stemming from a domestic violence assault that happened in Topsham on Thursday night. As part of the bail conditions, Lubee was subject to random search and testing at any time without suspicion or probable cause.

As a result of the crash, Sharpe said Lubee’s pickup truck was totaled, as was the shed he hit after the truck “went right though it,” Sharpe said.

Tire tracks indicate the pickup truck traveled over a knoll, went airborne, hit the ground again and launched like a projectile into the approximately 10-foot-by-12-foot shed.

The flying pickup truck just missed an adjacent shed, Sharpe said.

Lt. Tom Garrepy of the Brunswick Police Department reconstructed the scene Friday afternoon to try to determine the speed at which Lubee was driving. Speed also is believed to be a factor.

Lubee was taken to Two Bridges Regional Jail and has a court date of April 10 at West Bath District Court.



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