It is with heavy hearts that deputies from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a traffic collision that occurred Thursday, Dec. 6 on Route 1 in Nobleboro that claimed the life of William “Bill” Ellsworth, 80, of Newcastle.
For more than 22 years, Bill has worked in and around the Sheriff’s Office in his capacity as a substance abuse counselor and though not employed by the county was truly part of the Sheriff’s Office family.
The investigation is still underway; the following is some initial information. At approximately 7:51 a.m., Bill and his wife Lois were traveling north on Route 1 on their way to a group counseling session in Waldoboro. The collision occurred at the intersection of Route 1 and Back Meadow Road in Nobleboro.
The preliminary investigation shows the 2017 Ford Escape Bill Ellsworth was driving struck a 2005 Chevrolet Avalanche traveling south on Route 1 and operated by Ronald Shellman, 45, of Waldoboro. Investigators believe Shellman attempted to make a left turn from Route 1 onto Back Meadow Road and failed to yield the right of way to the Ellsworths' vehicle. The Ellsworths' vehicle attempted to avoid the truck but was unable to and the two vehicles collided in the northbound travel lane.
All three people were transported by Central Lincoln County Ambulance to Lincoln Health Miles Campus Emergency Room in Damariscotta, where Bill Ellsworth died of his injuries. His wife sustained several broken bones and was transported by ambulance to Maine Medical Center in Portland. Shellman was treated and released from the hospital.
Alcohol and drugs are not believed to be factors; blood samples were taken as part of the investigation. It is too early to determine if speed was a factor.
Seatbelts were worn by all those involved and the airbags in both vehicles deployed. The crash remains under investigation. A Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office crash reconstructionist and the Maine State Police forensic mapping unit are assisting.
Nobleboro Fire and Damariscotta Fire department responded to the collision and helped with traffic control. Traffic on Route 1 was detoured until 11 a.m.
Bill worked closely with many people in and out of the correctional setting. He pioneered the Lincoln County Outreach program that has brought recovery services into our community to help those in need. His honest and sincere approach to recovery from substance abuse has touched many lives here in Lincoln County over the past 22 years, including the lives of those of us who worked with him. Bill will be sorely missed.