Media Archive

Truck driver killed in crash

Article from Bangor Daily News, Thursday, June 15, 2006

By Staff

GLENBURN - A Milo man was killed Wednesday morning when his concrete-cargo truck drifted off Route 15, hit a power pole and rolled over.

Kenneth Scanlon, 48, died at the scene, Maine State Police said.

Scanlon's truck, owned by American Concrete Industries of Veazie and headed south toward Bangor, left the road at about 11 a.m., struck a utility pole, flipped and landed in the southbound breakdown lane, according to police. The impact crushed the truck's cab.

Scanlon was wearing a seat belt.

Witnesses who stopped to assist said Scanlon was unconscious and had no pulse, according to state police Trooper David Millett. A dump-truck driver saw the accident and phoned police at 11:05 a.m. Crews arrived within 10 minutes.

Millett said the lack of signs of breaking indicated Scanlon may have suffered a medical condition, possibly a heart attack.

"No skid marks or attempts to steer back onto the road show that a medical condition may have existed," Millett said Wednesday afternoon.

Weather, which was clear and dry at the time, wasn't a factor, police said.

Police didn't know what caused Scanlon's death; however, substantial trauma from the accident was not evident.

The state medical examiner's office in Augusta will conduct an autopsy today.

American Concrete officials were at the scene of the accident Wednesday and unavailable for comment, according a staffer.

Scanlon was traveling south on Route 15 near the intersection with Pine View Avenue when his truck veered off the road. The vehicle left a littered wake.

About 20 feet after leaving the pavement, the truck ran over roadside garbage bags, strewing rubbish across the highway. Its tires dug ruts in the rainwater-soaked embankment. The muddy grooves ran beneath remnants of the splintered utility pole and into the ditch.

When Scanlon's vehicle struck the pole, its weight shifted, according to police. It rolled over and landed in the breakdown lane with the cab crushed to the hood and phone lines snagged on the rear of the vehicle.

Traffic continued to flow in the northbound driving and breakdown lanes. The scene was cleared by 4 p.m.

Determining the truck's speed before the crash will be difficult without skid marks on the pavement, Millett said. The posted speed limit is 45 mph, but witnesses speculated the vehicle was traveling between 65 and 70 mph, according to the trooper.

"It's going to be tough to confirm that, though," Millett said.

Simultaneously with state police, utility crews arrived to replace the splintered power pole, Trooper Sean Hashey said Wednesday morning at the scene.

Nearby customers didn't lose power immediately, but electricity was shut off at 11:16 a.m. to allow replacement of the pole, according to Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. spokeswoman Jen Brooker.

While Glenburn firefighters jacked the vehicle's cab from the pavement, Bangor Hydro bucket crews held the power line in the air about 50 feet away. Ground workers erected a new power pole below.

Brooker said 2,400 customers were without electricity until power was restored less than an hour later at 12:13 p.m.

Kim Badershall, 41, was inside her mobile home next to the accident scene when she heard an engine revving, then a popping sound.

"The lights just dimmed down for a few seconds and came back on," Badershall said Wednesday morning as she surveyed the aftermath from her lawn.

Maine Department of Transportation workers brought absorbent pads to soak up diesel fuel that leaked slowly from the vehicle's tank, according to DOT spokesman Herb Thompson. The leak didn't pose a serious health or environmental hazard, however.

State police are seeking additional witnesses, including a nurse who stopped to help but left before talking with investigators.

People with information should call Troop E in Orono at 866-2121 or (800) 432-7381.

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NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.