22 year old man dies in single-car crash

By Lisa Williams Ackley

Staff Writer

A 22-year-old man from Naples died when his car went airborne and struck a tree on Kansas Road in Bridgton, after he allegedly tried to elude a Bridgton Police officer early Sunday afternoon.

Around 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 23, Bridgton Police Officer Josh Muise attempted to stop a 2001 Hyundai sedan operated by Travis Horan, of Naples, for speeding on Willis Park Road.

According to police, the vehicle accelerated and sped away eastbound on Route 302, allegedly passing several vehicles on the right at a high rate of speed. The Hyundai turned left onto Kansas Road and traveled at an extremely high rate of speed, according to witness statements.

Horan lost control and the vehicle went airborne, striking a tree. Police arrived at the crash scene, moments later. Horan was the sole occupant of the vehicle.

The crash is being reconstructed by investigators from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department.

Horan, who had been declared a habitual motor vehicle offender and whose license was suspended several times, had previous convictions for operating under the influence, operating without a license, driving to endanger and failure to pay fines.

Asked if alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash that killed Horan, Bridgton Chief of Police Kevin Schofield said that would be determined by the outcome of toxicology tests, the results of which should be known in four to six weeks.

As to whether the Police Department’s policy on pursuit by a law enforcement officer was followed, Chief Schofield said, “We’re in the process of an administrative internal review which is performed any time we have an incident such as a police shooting, or a death, or there is serious bodily injury, from an internal standpoint, to see whether Department policy was followed.”

Chief Schofield said Officer Josh Muise has been placed on administrative leave with pay, which is standard operating procedure for the Department.

Horan attended Lake Region High School.

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