The driver of the vehicle that crashed in Acadia National Park early Saturday morning — killing all three passengers — has been arrested on manslaughter charges. He allegedly spent Friday night drinking in downtown Bar Harbor before hitting the road with his friends.
Authorities still have not publicly identified the three victims of the rollover crash. In federal court documents, they have only provided their initials and dates-of-birth showing they were 27, 30 and 36 years old.
Park rangers have charged the driver, a man named Praneeth Manubolu, with three counts of manslaughter, according to the documents filed in U.S. District Court. In Maine, manslaughter is a Class A felony punishable by up to 30 years in jail.
The documents didn’t include Manubolu’s age, hometown or other identifying information. He is due to appear in federal court in Bangor at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
After Manubolu called 911 to report the crash at 2:47 a.m. Saturday, investigators arrived at the crash site on Park Loop Road to find that he had some cuts and scrapes and allegedly smelled of alcohol, according to an arrest affidavit written by U.S. Park Ranger Brian Dominy.
Manubolu allegedly told investigators that he had been out drinking with friends in Bar Harbor and that they had ended the night around 1 a.m. “with a couple of shots of alcohol” at the Carmen Verandah bar and nightclub, Dominy said.
He allegedly said that “his friends wanted him to drive as he felt he could,” but that “he lost control of his vehicle on a curve and hit a tree,” according to Dominy. “He further stated one of his passengers warned him about a curve coming up in the roadway, but that he failed to slow down in time.”
Manubolu continued to have a “strong odor of alcohol about his person” for about six hours after the crash, Dominy said, and his vehicle appeared to have been driving “well over” the posted speed limit of 25 mph based on skid marks and damage.
Acadia National Park spokeswoman Christie Anastasia didn’t immediately respond to a request for more information on Monday.
On Saturday, she said that the one person who survived the crash was taken to Mount Desert Island Hospital and that the car’s three other occupants were found dead at the scene.
After the crash, the one-way section of the Park Loop Road had to be closed from about 3 a.m. to 8 a.m. Acadia National Park is normally open 24 hours a day.
On Monday, an employee of the Hancock County Jail confirmed that Manubolu was there, but said that more information would not be available until after the Labor Day holiday.
BDN writer Judy Harrison contributed to this report.