May 27, 2018
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Firefighters strike, kill moose on way to van-moose crash in Madawaska Lake

By Jen Lynds, Special to the BDN

MADAWASKA LAKE, Maine — Firefighters called to the scene of a collision between a van and a moose on Route 161 late Thursday night struck and killed another moose on the way.

State Police Sgt. Brian Harris said Friday that the three people in the van suffered minor cuts and scrapes, though one passenger was taken to a Caribou hospital. He said the two firefighters walked away from their accident.

Harris said 39-year-old Tommy Collins was driving a 1997 Plymouth van northbound on Route 161 at about 11:30 p.m. when he encountered three moose in the roadway. Collins was able to avoid two of the moose but struck and killed the third. Collins and his two passengers, Cindy Collins, 46, and Richard Collins, 41, suffered minor cuts and scrapes, Harris said. Cindy Collins was taken by Caribou Fire and Rescue to Cary Medical Center in Caribou.

Harris said the front of the van was substantially damaged and the vehicle needed to be towed from the scene by a wrecker.

Trooper Todd Stetson investigated the accident and was assisted at the scene by members of Caribou Fire and Rescue and the North Lakes Fire and Rescue Department.

Harris said firefighter Stephen Belanger, 53, was driving the North Lakes Fire and Rescue Department’s 1979 International tanker truck to the scene when a moose ran into the roadway in front of him a mile or so from the first accident.

Belanger tried to avoid the moose but could not and also struck and killed the animal. Belanger and his passenger, Ben Pelletier, 54, were not injured in the accident. The tanker sustained heavy damage to the front and had to be towed from the scene.

Correction: An earlier version of this story had the wrong name of the fire department that was involved in the second crash. The department was North Lakes Fire and Rescue Department, not Cross Lake Fire Department.

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