Two men died and a third was critically injured when the 2010 Toyota Tacoma they were riding in struck a utility pole and rolled several times in Prospect. Credit: Courtesy of Maine State Police

A Winterport man has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison in connection with a 2016 crash in Prospect that left two other men dead.

Adam Littlefield, 33, pleaded no contest Monday to operating after license revocation and three counts of violating his conditions of release from a prior charge. But the more serious charges he was facing, including manslaughter and aggravated operating under the influence that involved a death, had been dropped last month due to insufficient evidence.

Assistant District Attorney Neil McLean said Tuesday that those charges were not dismissed because of a plea deal but because crash-scene reconstructionists and other experts could not determine who had been driving during the crash. Littlefield, John Moriarty, 59, of Bangor and Brad Pomeroy, 35, of Searsport had all been in a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck when it struck a utility pole on the North Searsport Road the afternoon of Sept. 3, 2016. The truck rolled over several times before it came to rest, and all three men were thrown from the vehicle.

Investigating officers said speed was a major factor in the crash. At first, they were not sure who had been driving. But in 2017, after his blood was found on the airbag in the truck, Littlefield was determined to be the driver, and was charged with manslaughter and the other crimes. According to court records, he had at least three prior convictions in the past decade for driving with a revoked license, including one in May 2013 and another on Aug. 23, 2016, just days before the fatal crash.

Ultimately, the evidence could not prove which of the three men had been driving, McLean said. Although prosecutors know that Littlefield had been driving at other points during the day of the crash, experts found that the DNA on the airbag most likely came from the person sitting in the center seat of the truck. Efforts Tuesday afternoon to speak with defense attorney N. Laurence Willey were not immediately successful.

“It really came down to the DNA analysis,” McLean said. “The experts concluded that what they couldn’t say at this point was who was driving … we have to respect the evidence. We have to honor what the evidence tells us, and we can’t say for certain who was driving.”

Littlefield suffered serious injuries in the crash, including significant head injuries, and does not remember who was driving, McLean said.

“His lack of memory is consistent with head injuries,” the assistant district attorney said.

Littlefield was sentenced to three and a half years in prison on the charge of operating after habitual offender revocation. He also was sentenced to six months on each of the charges of violating condition of release, but all of those will be served concurrently with the longer prison term.

“It’s a significant sentence on the operating after revocation charge,” McLean said, acknowledging that the dismissal of the more serious charges has been difficult for the family members of the men who died in the crash.