A Cumberland County woman had a blood-alcohol content level almost three times the legal limit when her car went into the Ossipee River in February.
The Portland Press Herald reported that Sarah McCarthy, 28, of Sebago, died of drowning with hypothermia, and the manner of death was accidental. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office announced McCarthy’s cause of death on Wednesday.
McCarthy was found in her car in the river in Parsonsfield two days after she was last seen in Cornish on Feb. 14. Toxicology testing done by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner showed McCarthy had a blood-alcohol content level of .21, police said. The legal limit is a BAC of .08.
McCarthy was last seen at Fairgrounds Pizza & Pub in Cornish, where she worked as a waitress and bartender. She had planned to meet a friend in Conway, New Hampshire, after her shift, according to the Press Herald.
McCarthy had telephone contact with family and friends shortly after leaving work, and “she sounded very disoriented and claimed she did not know where she was,” Foss said. She also reported being lost and cold.
A passerby spotted McCarthy’s vehicle submerged in the river near the intersection of Route 25 and Elm Street on the afternoon of Feb. 16. McCarthy’s disappearance was investigated by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, while the York County Sheriff’s Office investigated the crash.
McCarthy, who went by “Sarie,” grew up in Sebago and moved to South Carolina after college. She had moved home to Maine to return to school to be a nurse, her friends and family said earlier this year, the Press Herald said.