Multi-Vehicle Crash Early Friday In Kossuth Township - Jun. 22, 2012
KOSSUTH TOWNSHIP, ME (WQDY NEWS) --- A multi-vehicle crash shut down Route 6 Friday morning for five hours.
Maine State Police Trooper Jason Fowler told WQDY NEWS it began as a single vehicle crash in Kossuth Township, about 2.6 miles from the Topsfield town line --- but that situation quickly changed when two tractor-trailer rigs happened along and struck road debris.
Fowler said initial call came in just before 2 a.m. Friday for a courier van that went off the road.
"The operator stated he was trying to avoid an animal in the roadway...he went off the road and took out a utility pole. The lines went down on the road along with the top of the pole. The van went down into a ditch, rolled over multiple times and hit a tree. The operator was trapped in the vehicle for some time until we could get there," Fowler said.
Snapped utlity pole on Route 6 early Friday-submitted photo
Then -- another vehicle approached along Route 6 -- a westbound 18-wheel log truck.
"He couldn't get stopped in time and went through the crash scene. He suffered two blown tires, some damage to the front bumper and damage to the mirrors on the truck from the utility pole that was in the roadway," Fowler said.
Fire from arcing power lines ignites rear of truck hauling wood chips-submitted photo
Then -- yet another vehicle approached -- this time it was an eastbound 18-wheel truck hauling wood chips.
"He went around the other tractor-trailer and he couldn't see the lines down. Once he hit the lines, they arced and immediately started a fire in the back part of the trailer," the trooper said.
The chip truck's trailer and tires then caught fire.
Fowler said that driver managed to jump clear of the truck. "He could pretty much feel the electricity in the vehicle."
As for the driver of the van --- Fowler and a firefighter were able to free him out the back of the vehicle. The man suffered some cuts and abrasions to his head and other minor injuries. He was transported to Calais Regional Hospital by Calais fire.
Fowler said the truck driver who jumped from his vehicle because of the electricity suffered a small scrape to his head. He was transported to the hospital in Lincoln by the Penobscot ambulance.
Route 6 was shut down from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. Friday.
"We had a good response from Eastern Maine Electric. They were on scene very quickly," Fowler said. "They did get the power shut down. That was our first fear -- getting the guy out of the van -- we had no idea if the power was still on or not at that point. It was a tangle of wires everywhere."
Aftermath of fire to the wood chips truck -submitted photo
"It was on corner and the lines came right out into the middle of the roadway along with pole." Fowler said, "it was an interesting scene, to say the least."
Indian Township police assisted Fowler with traffic control.
FairPoint Communications responded in addition to Eastern Maine Electric Co-op to deal with the downed lines, along with Maine-DOT crews.
Fowler said help also came from Calais fire, Indian Township Ambulance, the Lincoln ambulance along with Topsfield and Princeton fire departments.
STORY: Tom McLaughlin WQDY-WALZ firstname.lastname@example.org