ENFIELD, Maine — A 59-year-old local man and town employee was killed Wednesday night when his motorcycle struck a moose on U.S. Route 2, a sheriff’s official said Thursday.
Peter Dauphinee, an employee of the Public Works Department, died almost immediately as a result of the collision — which occurred at about 8:05 p.m. — between the moose and his 2003 Yamaha, said Chief Deputy Troy Morton of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office. Dauphinee was pronounced dead at Penobscot Valley Hospital in Lincoln late Wednesday.
He was traveling north toward Lincoln in a 55 mph zone when the accident occurred about three miles north of the Route 155 intersection, Morton said.
“It doesn’t look like there was anything he could have done. It was dark, he was riding alone and they [moose] are hard to see at night,” Morton said.
Another motorist who came upon the scene almost immediately after the collision called 911. The moose appeared to have wandered into Dauphinee’s lane. Dauphinee was not wearing a helmet, but it probably would not have made much difference if he had been, Morton said.
Dauphinee was thrown from the motorcycle, which continued on over an embankment and into the woods off Route 2. The moose was severely injured and had to be put down, Morton said. State police and Maine game wardens assisted with the accident investigation.
The mood was somber at the town office on Thursday as the news of Dauphinee’s death hit hard.
“I am not having a very good day today,” Town Manager Theresa Thurlow said.
Dauphinee was known as a good worker who loved to ride his motorcycle. He sometimes rode on the bike with his dog, a small collie, friends said.
The accident was at least the second involving a moose in Penobscot County in the last two weeks. A car and moose collided last week in the Lee-Winn area, Morton said, but this is not the typical season for moose to be wandering into roadways.
“I know that earlier in the spring they start coming out of the woods when there’s still snow on the ground and they start looking for food,” Morton said. “Now clearly we have gone past that time. We don’t typically have many car-moose accidents” in early June.