Pelletier pays fine in auto accident

Posted Dec. 22, 2010, at 11:14 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 7:24 a.m.

MILLINOCKET, Maine — Jeff Pelletier of “American Loggers” TV fame pleaded no contest and paid a $400 fine Wednesday in connection with an accident in September in which Pelletier’s pickup truck apparently had struck a parked Subaru station wagon.

Pelletier, 42, of Millinocket pleaded no contest in Millinocket District Court to failure to report an accident. Judge Kevin Stitham dismissed a second charge, leaving the scene of an accident, for lack of evidence, court officials said.

About $3,000 in damage was done to the station wagon, which still was drivable, police have said.

Pelletier said afterward that he was not driving the truck when the accident occurred, apparently sometime late Sept. 25 or early Sept. 26, and doesn’t know who was, but paid the fine because as the truck’s owner, he is responsible for its use.

“If I let somebody use my vehicle and if they do damage to someone else’s, I will take care of it,” Pelletier said Wednesday. “I am not going to leave anybody high and dry.”

Police “had no evidence putting a driver in the vehicle. They had no evidence at all,” he added.

Police have said a neighbor called in the accident on Kelly Lane at about 1:05 a.m. Sept. 26, about five minutes after it happened. Sgt. Jerry Cox and another officer got there within a few minutes, but the vehicle was gone, police said.

However, the officers had a general idea of what kind of vehicle did the damage — a GMC pickup truck. By the process of elimination, police said, they found Pelletier’s pickup truck at his home on Morgan Lane and found on it damage consistent with a rear-end accident.

The summons was issued to Pelletier on Sept. 26 about eight hours after the accident was reported, police have said.

Pelletier said he left the truck at Pelletier Loggers Family Restaurant on Penobscot Avenue that night and went home in another vehicle with the understanding that “a bunch of people were supposed to take it [the pickup] back to our shop.”

The Pelletiers own the restaurant and several buildings on Golden Road from which they run their trucking and logging operations.

Insurance companies paid for vehicle repairs, Pelletier said.

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