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Distraction Leads To Cooper Crash, No Injuries - Dec. 03, 2012

COOPER, Maine (WQDY NEWS) -- A family of five had a wild ride but suffered no injuries after their vehicle left Route 191 in Cooper on Monday morning.

ABOVE: Fire/EMS crews watch as this 1996 Mercury Grand Marquis is hauled out of a swampy area off Route 191 in Cooper-WQDY NEWS PHOTO.

Maine State Trooper Staci Carpenter told WQDY NEWS that Buddy Bradstreet, 22, of Newcastle was operating a 1996 Mercury Grand Marquis south on Rte. 191. Also in the vehicle was his fiance', Sasha LaFlamme, 22, also of Newcastle, along with three minor children in the backseat.

"Buddy's cellphone was ringing -- it was on his dashboard. When he went to reach for his cellphone -- in just that moment of him taking his eyes off the roadway -- he came down over a small crest of a hill and he observed a deer in the roadway," Carpenter said.

"He applied his brakes and he lost control of his vehicle which left the paved surface and came to rest in a swampy area."

The area was mostly swamp grass and varying depths of cold water. The occupants were able to make it out of the vehicle.

ABOVE: The vehicle came to rest on its wheels off Route 191 up to its rocker panels in swamp grass, mud and icy cold water-WQDY NEWS PHOTO

A Good Samaritan happened by.

Carpenter said Robert Embleton of Greenbush, stopped and rendered aid to the family by placing them in his vehicle to keep them warm.

 Cooper, Meddybemps and Alexander fire departments responded to the scene along with Downeast EMS. State police detective Micah Perkins also assisted prior to Carpenter's arrival.

The car's gas tank leaked following the crash -- and some fuel leaked into the swamp area so the Department of Environmental Protection was notified.

It was that momentary distraction that caused a chain of events --and that's all it takes.

"We're covering a lot more distracted driver crashes due to texting, with Smartphones, people playing on the Internet and all it takes is one second and your life can change," said the trooper.

"With the way technology is today, people need to reel themsleves in and when you're driving -- you're driving -- and not looking to other distractions," Carpenter said.