Franklin Countys First News

Kingfield woman arrested in relation to fatal crash in July

The silver 2004 Chevy Aveo involved in a fatal crash on July 8. (Photo by Franklin County Sheriff's Office)

Danielle Larochelle (Photo courtesy of Franklin County Detention Center)

KINGFIELD - A local woman was arrested this morning, with police alleging she over the legal limit when the vehicle she was operating crashed on the West Kingfield Road on July 8. A 25-year-old Strong man was killed in that crash.

According to Franklin County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Steve Lowell, Danielle Larochelle, 30 of Kingfield, was arrested at her home by Deputy Andrew Morgan Thursday morning. She was arrested on a warrant charging felony operating under the influence.

The crash referenced in the warrant occurred on the evening of July 8 on the West Kingfield Road at approximately 10 p.m. A silver 2004 Chevy Aveo, reportedly operated by Larochelle, was westbound on the road when it left the roadway and struck several trees. One of the three passengers, Nicholas Shurtleff, 25 of Strong, was flung from the vehicle. He died at the scene.

FCSO personnel, firefighters with the Kingfield, Carrabassett Valley and New Portland departments, and NorthStar EMS all responded to the scene. At the time, previous information released by the FCSO indicated that investigators were told that the vehicle had swerved to avoid a deer. Maine State Police assisted with the crash reconstruction. Morgan was the lead investigator.

NorthStar transported Larochelle and another passenger, Benjamin Bowman, 22 of Kingfield, to Franklin Memorial Hospital. Neither Bowman or Larochelle were wearing seat belts, according to information released by FCSO in July. The third passenger, Patrick Wyman, 23 of Kingfield, had reportedly been wearing his seat belt during the incident and did not need medical attention.

According to information released by Lowell Thursday, Larochelle's blood alcohol content was .219 percent grams per 100 mL of blood. The legal BAC limit in Maine is .08 percent for drivers over the age of 21.

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29 Responses »

  1. Hopefully justice will be served for Nick !!!

  2. .219 (drunk) + driving + passengers = a life lost..... When will people learn? So sad for Nick and his family :(

  3. Patrick had his seatbelt on.
    Nick did not.
    Important !!!!

    If you drink and drive,, u get what you get.
    If you ride with someone who is drinking and driving,, you get what you get.

    Looks like a seatbelt was a deciding factor in this particular incident.
    Wear Em. Please.

  4. I am so angry to hear about this.
    Hopefully Justice will be served for Nick Shurtleff!!

  5. Yup, now the truth comes out. .21 is dam near an entire 5th of 80 proof. She can never say “I didnt think i was that drunk.” Two beers will put u at a .08, I can see that mistake happening but not this. She knew what she was doing. Prison here she comes.

  6. I think the .219 alcohol level was the deciding factor here.

  7. Never realized it took a month to get a blood test evaluated.

  8. “.21 is near an entire 5th of 80 proof”? Doesn’t that kind of depend on a persons weight, age, etc?
    The effect of drinking the same amount of alcohol will vary from person to person. It depends on:

    How fast you drink

    If you drink quickly you will get a stronger effect than if you drink the same amount over a longer period. Drinking fast means the alcohol will build up in your blood stream faster than your liver can remove it.

    If you have eaten

    If you eat before or during the time when you drink alcohol, it will have less effect on you. Food in your stomach slows down how fast the alcohol is absorbed into your blood.

    Your weight

    Alcohol will have a stronger effect on someone who weighs less. Larger people have more body fluids, which dilute the alcohol.

    Your sex

    Women are affected more than men. Women tend to have more a higher percentage of body fat and less fluid in their bodies than men. This means that alcohol is less diluted in women's bodies. Also, women don’t break down alcohol as efficiently as men, so the alcohol can build up in their blood stream.

    Your age

    Younger and older people are usually affected more. The amount of body fluids tends to decrease with age, so an older person will be more affected by the same amount of alcohol. Young people’s bodies are still developing and they usually have a lower tolerance for alcohol.

    Your drinking history

    People who don’t drink very often will be more affected than regular drinkers. People who are used to drinking develop a tolerance to the effects of alcohol as their body becomes used to it. Tolerance means that after regular drinking, you may find that drinking the same amount of alcohol no longer produces the same effect. Read more about tolerance

    Your body type

    An overweight person will be more affected than a lean, muscular person. Overweight people have more body fat and less fluids, so the alcohol they drink will be more concentrated in their blood.


    Fizzy drinks like champagne or drinks mixed with tonic or cola will affect you more quickly. The carbonation that produces the fizz increases the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream.

    Genetic factors

    Some people have genetic differences that mean that they have different amounts of the enzymes that break down alcohol. This means they may get drunk more quickly. This variation is usually seen in certain populations of Asian descent, such as some Chinese and Japanese people.¹

  9. Very sad a young life was lost. Also for the driver that decided to drive her 3 friends home. She made a bad choice but riders make bad choices as well. Praying for all!!

  10. Sad for all involved but she is ultimately responsible!!!

  11. So ur point is that this young female, who does not apear to be over weight, should have been worse off then most? Sounds good.

  12. @Kingfield man..Thank you for the lecture on drinking and how it affects your body..very Informative. Next, we need one on not drinking and driving..and not riding in the car with a driver who is very impaired.

  13. Yes, she made a bad choice to drive them home, but no one twisted their arms to get in and ride. They had a choice to call for a sober driver. It does work both ways. And I'm so sorry for all involved.

  14. Notice I have an (!) point......
    To Seatbelts. !! Just because someone has a seat belt on, does not mean they will survive a crash with a drunk driver behind the wheel!!
    To Kingfield man: It is never OK to drink and matter your sex, age, weight, etc!!
    To anyone who cares: An accident always puts fault on the driver (if you are the one that caused the accident)....You are the one operating the vehicle...that makes you responsible for your passengers!!!

  15. Does it really matter how it happened, a life was lost. The family is suffering from this.
    All your statements don't really matter. This is one article that you all should just read and not respond to.

  16. Exactly Concerned citizen! @Kingfield Man....sounds more like Kingfield Boy!

  17. @Kingfield guy- what a wealth of useless knowledge!

  18. .219 bac was the deciding factor for sure...
    But of what?

    Pretty sure she wasnt transporting them all to church at gunpoint.

    She needs to pay the price for what she did or didn't do.
    They others already have paid for their decisions.

    Sad stuff.

  19. This is in reference to the one titled "seatbelts"! Have a friggen heart! A human life was lost and three individuals and their family's lives are forever changed because of alcohol and driving! Your comment is very ignorant and uncalled for! I condone drinking and driving as well but dam have a heart! Don't know any involved but feel terrible for the family's! Think about what you write before you open your trap! Rip Nick

  20. Ryan if you condone drinking and driving you may be part of the problem.

  21. Playing with fire, the deciding factor to charge her with felony OUI rather than the standard misdemeanor OUI was the fact that she was A) driving way over the 0.08BAC limit and B) caused the death of another person, that had she been sober might not have happened, it elevates it from a class D misdemeanor to a class B felony(not less than 6 months and not more than 10 years in prison and a fine not less than $2100 and a license suspension of not less than 10 years though the Secretary of State can extend the suspension.)

  22. Ryan,
    Some information you don't seem to know about.

    Many grieving families "use" their loss as an educational tool to hopefully effect other preventable tragedies ,(wearing seatbelts,,not riding with anyone who has been drinking are 2 examples).
    These families choose to actually face reality and talk about it rather than blame others who also made bad choices.

    Anger and vengeance is what is "heartless".
    There is no closure or healing there.

    Now you know why others grieve this way.
    Thanks to many of them sharing their painful story, many others listened and were saved.

  23. Dear Franklin County Court System,
    10 years ago next week a man in his car struck my wife's car head on. His BAC was .230. He had his license suspended for 6 months after spending two weeks in jail. His CDL was not taken from him.
    "N" has never been the same. Her career as an environmental engineer was cut short. Her abilities as a human were severely limited. Everything came to a shuddering halt.
    See to it that this person gets the 10 year driving suspension and is sentenced to contribute a significant part of her life long income to the orphans and widows of fatal drunk driving crashes.
    She has earned this as a result of her action. The others that rode with her, with or with out seat belts, were at differing degrees of thoughtless, but she DROVE the CAR DRUNK! Get her off the roads and make her and all others like her actually pay for the health care and support of those they injure and the families of those they kill.

    Mr. Lauri Sibulkin

  24. Mr Sibulkin makes the point about healing and closure.
    Understandably bitter but what good comes from it?
    Some people control their anger, others let it control them.
    Another choice. (Yes it is because many use it for some good rather than stick in it).

    I know people who were severely injured (not their choice).
    But they chose to be positive happy and yes Thankful people after.
    Not sure what I would do but this is the choice they made.
    I admire them.

  25. @Another Choice...Lets see a drunk driver kill or seriously maim your spouse or one of your children..Then you can come on here and say what others should be doing. Think you would be saying a different attitude..

  26. From Another Choice to Kee.
    If you had actually read what I wrote,
    you would know I said "I'm not sure what I would do". But assume anything you wish.

    I am (with much gratitude) communicating the positive reaction I encountered from grieving folks who chose not to hate and seek revenge, but instead put their grief towards helping others.

    They demonstrated that Justice and Revenge are not the same thing.
    I am thankful for that lesson.

    That's all.

  27. I am so tired of hearing the word "ACCIDENT" used to describe these incidents. There is nothing accidental about choosing to drink and drink a lot - choosing to allow passengers in the vehicle with you - choosing to get behind the wheel - choosing to get on the road. So how exactly was this accidental? Everything she did was INTENTIONAL - the outcome was not intentional, but it never would have happened.

    Lawyers, judges please start seeing these incidents for what they are. We all make choices and sometime those choices end in dire circumstances; BUT our choices are not accidental.

  28. DA offers plea down to involuntary manslaughter, 365 days in jail with all but 90 days suspended, license revoked 10 years with option to regain in 4. Book it.
    Hope she didn't plan on getting into Canada anytime soon...

  29. Was just wondering where all you people who knows what her sentencing is Could you please tell me how you all know? nothing has been set in stone yet. Stop posting stuff you do not know (Bill Harvey) anything about.