Fort Fairfield man involved in fatal accident is still in critical condition

Posted Feb. 21, 2013, at 6:09 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 21, 2013, at 6:53 p.m.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A Fort Fairfield man remains in critical condition at a Bangor hospital three days after two separate crashes during a snowstorm led to the death of a 22-year-old man.
David Hayes, 63, has been listed in critical condition at Eastern Maine Medical Center since he was admitted after the accident on Conant Road just after 10:30 a.m. Monday.

The incident involved two separate accidents that combined to cause the death of Roman Yoder of Fort Fairfield. Yoder was a member of one of a dozen Amish families that have moved into the communities of Fort Fairfield and Easton since 2007.

The first crash involved Philip Bird, 60, of Fort Fairfield, who was heading westbound on Conant Road in his 2008 Chevrolet pickup. The truck collided head-on with a city-owned plow truck driven by Wayne Howlett, 40, of Mapleton, according to Presque Isle Police Chief Matthew Irwin.

Bird then got out of his vehicle and got into the plow truck to exchange information with the plow driver, according to Martin Puckett, deputy city manager in Presque Isle.

At that point Hayes, who was driving a Ford Escape with Yoder as a passenger, came up behind the plow truck. Puckett said late Tuesday afternoon it wasn’t clear yet whether the SUV stopped or was still moving slowly when the second accident happened.

According to Puckett, the men in the plow truck said they did not feel the Ford Escape strike their vehicle.

The driver of a loaded logging truck, Leigh Gordon, 56, of Ashland, did not see Hayes’ vehicle and struck it from behind, pushing it into the plow truck, according to police.

Yoder was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident remains under investigation, but whiteout conditions because of snow and high winds were a contributing factor, the police chief said.

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