January 31, 2013

Fairfield police officer hospitalized following cruiser collision with truck

Officer being treated at MaineGeneral Medical Center; truck driver, not injured, taken to Redington-Fairview General Hospital as a precaution

By Doug Harlow dharlow@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

FARIFIELD  — A Fairfield police officer was injured Thursday in a collision with a truck on U.S. Route 201 that destroyed his cruiser and sent the truck down an embankment and into some trees.

Officer Bill Beaulieu was in stable condition at MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Thayer campus in Waterville complaining of neck and back pain, police said.

U.S. 201 was closed to traffic in both directions for about three hours as state police troopers and commercial enforcement officers conducted a reconstruction of the accident.

The truck, a road tractor without a trailer attached, is registered to Central Maine Transport of Bangor. The driver, who was not immediately identified, was not injured. The truck had only minor damage.

Fairfield police Sgt. Matt Bard said Beaulieu was southbound about 11 a.m. when he attempted to make a quick turn on the highway to follow a northbound car. Bard said Beaulieu had his cruiser lights on, but no siren.

Beaulieu’s cruiser was struck by the truck, which also was northbound, on the front passenger side, knocking a wheel off the car and crushing the front and side of the vehicle. Bard said Beaulieu didn’t see the truck coming the other way.

The truck’s driver was not injured, Bard said. He was taken to Redington-Fairview General Hospital as a precaution. Because a commercial vehicle was involved in the accident, a blood alcohol test was taken.

The truck had minor damage.

No charges will be brought, Trooper John York, who investigated the accident, said.

“There was no distraction,” York said. “He was focused on the vehicle that he was turning on and turned into another vehicle’s path.”

The truck was going well under the speed limit and there were no brake marks, he said.

Allan Richards, who lives near the accident scene, said he heard the crash.

“I was in the living room,” he said. “I heard a crash and looked out the window and saw the police car in the middle of the road."

He said he saw the tractor-trailer’s driver “crawl up from the ditch.”

“The first responders were pretty nerved up — they were tugging at the doors to rip them open,” said Richards. “It was pretty intense.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

click image to enlarge

Fairfield police officer Shana Blodgett investigates a tractor trailer truck that went into a wooded section of U.S. Route 201 in Fairfield following a collision with a department cruiser that left officer Bill Beaulieu injured on Thursday.

Staff photo by David Leaming

click image to enlarge

Fairfield police officer Shana Blodgett and Det. Sgt. Kingston Paul confer outside the cruiser that was destroyed, injuring officer Bill Beaulieu after the cruiser and a tractor trailer truck collided on U.S. Route 201 in Fairfield on Thursday. The roadway was closed for hours as police from several departments investigated the accident.

Staff photo by David Leaming

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