Fairfield man hurt in collision with MDOT “crash truck”

Posted July 22, 2010, at 9:52 p.m.

ETNA, Maine — A Fairfield man was taken to a Bangor hospital Thursday for treatment of injuries he suffered when his vehicle struck the back of a Maine Department of Transportation crash truck.

Gerald York, 63, was driving south on Interstate 95 shortly after 5 p.m. when he failed to see the state truck ahead of him and ran into its back end at an estimated speed of 65 mph, state police Trooper Doug Franklin said Thursday.

Franklin said York, who complained of neck pain at the accident scene, was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center. No further information about York’s medical condition was available Thursday night.

The 2006 International crash truck, which had a crash barrier attached to its rear end, was traveling behind a MDOT line painting crew in order to protect it, Franklin said. He said that while York’s 1997 Ford Escort station wagon was demolished in the crash, the state crash truck had no damage because the crash barrier absorbed the impact.

“It did what it was designed to do,” the trooper said.

Franklin said the driver of the crash truck, 55-year-old Peter Gagnon of Manchester, saw York driving up behind him in the driving lane and tried to “give him some space” by speeding up from the 5 mph he was driving. The attempt to avoid a collision, however, failed.

Gagnon was not injured in the accident, Franklin said.

The accident, which occurred during the height of the evening commute and amid heavy summer traffic, forced officials to reduce southbound travel to one lane, which caused traffic to back up for more than an hour, Franklin said.

The congested state of the highway led to several near misses, Franklin said.

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