State police: Alcohol, speed caused fatal Dedham accident

DEDHAM — State police said Friday that alcohol and speeding were to blame for a two-car accident on Aug. 5 that killed three people on Route 1A.

At the time of the accident, Ellsworth summer resident Richard Olson, 85, had a blood alcohol content of 0.14 and his Chevrolet Tahoe was traveling 76 miles per hour in a 55-mph zone, according to Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland.

McCausland said that around 5:45 p.m., Olson’s car crossed the centerline, went through a passing lane and slammed into a GMC pickup driven by Phillip Carter, 32, of Bangor.

Olson, Carter and Carter’s passenger, 25-year-old Roxanne Papken of Bangor, were pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

According to an investigation by Trooper Gregory Roy, Olson spent much of that day at Hollywood Casino in Bangor.

One witness informed investigators that Olson then stopped at the Lucerne Inn in Dedham and drank half a martini.

Police found no other indication where Olson might have consumed alcohol. The legal driving limit is 0.08.

Roy’s investigation found no reason to believe Olson’s cell phone was a factor in the crash.

Olson, 85, was a summer resident of Ellsworth and lived the rest of the year in Des Moines, Iowa. He once served as mayor of that city.

Carter was a native of Sullivan.

Charles Eichacker

Charles Eichacker

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Charles Eichacker covers the towns of Bucksport, Orland, Castine, Verona Island, Penobscot, Brooksville and Dedham. When not working on stories, he likes books, beer and the outdoors. [email protected]