Gorham car smash-up injures man, heavily damages apartment building

Jan. 4—A Gorham man was injured when a chain-reaction collision sent a car crashing into his apartment building Wednesday morning.

The crash heavily damaged the building, displacing 11 tenants including the injured man, Chase Markglen, 37.

The smash-up occurred around 10:15 a.m. Bartley McNeel, 65, of Westbrook, was headed south on Narragansett Road, crossed the center line and sideswiped a car driven by Gary Lique, 55, of Bellows Falls, Vermont, said Gorham Deputy Police Chief Michael Nault. McNeel was taken to a hospital with injuries that Nault said were not life-threatening and neither Lique nor his two passengers was injured.

McNeel's pickup plowed into cars parked next to the building at 162 Narragansett Road. Four cars were damaged and one was pushed into the exterior wall of the apartment occupied by Markglen, who was playing a video game at the time. The impact caused part of the wall to collapse and injure him.

"I was sitting in my recliner minding my own business" when the crash occurred, Markglen said Wednesday afternoon.

He suffered a broken bone in his forehead and cuts and bruises, and was treated and released Wednesday about five hours after the crash. Markglen said doctors told him he should recover and probably won't need surgery.

Tony Castro, who has lived in the apartment building for 10 years, said the collisions were loud and he heard them clearly in his unit on the other side of the building from where the crash occurred.

Eileen Kalikow, who has owned the building for 30 years, said she was told by town officials that all the residents will need to find another place to live until she can have an engineer inspect the building and necessary repairs are made. She said she had no idea how long that might be.

"We're just helping to find hotels and motels" for residents, she said.

Kalikow, a career counselor, said the building is home to long-term tenants and that stretch of Narragansett Road isn't particularly crash-prone.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, according to Nault, and police have not determined if charges will be filed.