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Somerset County, Maine – June 26, 2012

A motorist escaped serious injury after being rescued from his sinking vehicle in the Sebasticook River Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Pittsfield Police Department, 65-year-old Melvin Getchell of Burnham was traveling eastbound in his 1998 Buick LeSabre around 12:45 p.m. on Hunnewell Avenue when he allegedly fell asleep at the wheel and lost control. Mr. Getchell left the roadway and crashed into the river, flipping his vehicle in the process.

Mr. Getchell was rescued shortly thereafter by local law enforcement. He was transported to Sebasticook Valley Hospital with minor injuries.

Officers are conducting an ongoing investigation to determine the cause of this incident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year.

If you would like an official copy of the police report, request a copy with this form.


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