UPDATE: Lt. Kevin Donovan with Maine State Police has confirmed that Janine Veilleux, 68, of Springfield has died after she was run over by her pickup truck. We will have more information on this story as it becomes available.
SPRINGFIELD, Maine — An elderly woman was flown by LifeFlight helicopter to a Bangor hospital after her pickup truck apparently ran over her in the driveway of her Mooers Road home on Friday.
Janine Veilleux, 68, of Springfield was behind her full-sized Dodge pickup truck when it apparently fell out of gear and started rolling toward her at about 12:45 p.m. Veilleux tried to stop it from rolling away instead of running from it, and she went under it, state police Trooper Christopher Foxworthy said.
“She said that she thought she had set the parking brake on the pickup,” Foxworthy said Friday. “I don’t think the tires rolled over her. I am assuming the bell housing and axle went over her, though. She was definitely banged up pretty good.”
Willpower, and possibly the power of adrenaline, probably helped Veilleux get to her feet after the accident, get inside her home and call 911. When Foxworthy arrived, he found her sitting inside, covered with blood and in a great deal of pain, but conscious, he said.
The LifeFlight helicopter landed in an open field at the Springfield Fairgrounds on Park Street, about five miles away by air from Veilleux’s home, and stood by for several minutes until a Penobscot Valley Hospital ambulance arrived with Veilleux. LifeFlight flight nurse Brent Watson and flight paramedic Josh Dickson helped attend to her until pilot Joe Obremski got the helicopter airborne.
Veilleux was undergoing evaluation at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Emergency responders also tended to what were apparently Veilleux’s dog and horse as they answered her needs. Firefighters corralled the friendly horse and put it in Veilleux’s barn after they found it wandering her driveway while Foxworthy had to calm her border collie mix, which was trying to protect its wounded master, Foxworthy said.
The pickup truck had stopped against a stump on her property. Otherwise, it might have continued to roll a lot farther.
“I am thinking it went 15 to 20 feet,” Foxworthy said.
A pool of blood was visible several feet from the truck. Foxworthy wasn’t sure whether Veilleux was about to travel, had just returned from a ride or was working on the truck when the accident occurred, he said.
BDN reporter Dawn Gagnon contributed to this story.