PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A 61-year-old social services agency worker died and four other people, including two with developmental disabilities, suffered injuries when a van and pickup truck collided head-on in an accident that closed U.S. Route 1 for about three hours Tuesday night, police said Wednesday.
Harold Walker of Caribou died shortly after arriving at The Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle, Sgt. Joey Seeley said. The others, whose names were not released, were treated for minor injuries. All were wearing seat belts, Seeley said.
Walker and another Central Aroostook ARC employee were traveling with clients from Caribou to Presque Isle for an outing when the accident occurred, said Stephen Richard, executive director of the nonprofit social services agency, which serves about 130 clients with developmental disabilities.
“Obviously our hearts go out to the family of the person killed in the accident, as well as to our own family here. It’s kind of a family atmosphere here, so we are grieving as well,” Richard said Wednesday. “We are still trying to get all of the information and awaiting the police report.”
Several local police officers, state game wardens, Caribou police officers and U.S. Border Patrol officers went to the scene of the accident, which was reported shortly after 6 p.m. about 1.7 miles south of the Caribou town line. There, they found that Leslie Pelletier, 45, of Limestone, who was driving the pickup truck north-bound, apparently had lost control of her vehicle, crossed the centerline and hit the van, Seeley said.
Pelletier was the only person in the pickup truck, Seeley said. Both vehicles were destroyed.
Police suspect that Pelletier might have been driving too fast for conditions. No charges have been filed, and police don’t expect to file any, though the investigation is continuing, Seeley said.