Alcohol, speed blamed in bizarre Betts Road crash

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Rochester Fire personnel work to extricate the victims of a crash on Betts Road on Friday. (Rochester Police photo)

ROCHESTER - Alcohol and speed are being blamed for a bizarre crash on Betts Road in which a car went out of control swerving back and forth across the road several times before crashing into a boulder and coming to rest just short of a barn.

Rochester Police and Fire as well as Milton Rescue responded to the area of 76 Betts Road around 6:50 p.m. Friday evening for a report of a motor vehicle accident. After a brief investigation it was determined a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am, driven by Michael Gilfert, 57, of Rochester, had lost control while traveling westbound, went off the north edge of the roadway and struck a group of rocks. Police say the vehicle then re-entered the roadway, swerved into the eastbound lane and nearly struck a pedestrian.

It then swerved back into the westbound lane where it left the roadway a second time, striking a road sign before re-entering the roadway again. The Pontiac then crossed over the eastbound lane, left the road a third time narrowly missing a utility pole before striking a boulder that was embedded in the ground. That impact redirected the vehicle northerly where it traveled across the lawn at 76 Betts Road and came to rest just short of the barn located on the property.

First responders found that neither Gilfert nor his 58-year-old female passenger were restrained. Gilfert was unconscious and unresponsive with head and other injuries. His passenger was awake and alert but had sustained multiple serious injuries.

Both occupants had to be extricated from the vehicle by fire personnel.

Gilfert was flown to the Portsmouth Regional Hospital with serious injuries. His passenger was transported to Frisbie Memorial Hospital where she was stabilized and transported to the Portsmouth Regional Hospital for further care.

Both alcohol and speed are factors in this crash, police say.

The incident remains under investigation and criminal charges will be forthcoming, according to police. Anyone with any further information regarding the crash is accident is asked to contact either Ofc. Brinkman or Ofc. Turgeon at 330-7128.

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