RUMFORD, Maine — A local woman was injured Friday afternoon when her car was destroyed by one of two tires that came off a loaded logging truck on Route 2, police said.
Constance Breton, 58, suffered minor injuries and complained of pain, Sgt. James Bernard said at the scene. She was taken by Med-Care Ambulance to Rumford Hospital.
Bernard said Breton was traveling west in a 2010 Hyundai Elantra on Route 2 about 3:20 p.m. When she was within 100 yards of her home, an eastbound logging truck driven by Dale Coffin, 64, of West Paris lost two tires just beyond Rumford Center, police said.
The first tire smashed into the front end of Breton’s 2010 Hyundai Elantra, littering the road and shoulder with car and engine parts. The tire came to rest along the bank of the Androscoggin River next to the eastbound lane.
Maifeld said Coffin wasn’t aware that the first tire had come off and didn’t know he had a problem until the truck’s load shifted. The two tires came off the front of the log trailer on the driver’s side.
“He said he was just driving along and saw the second tire when it passed him,” Maifeld said. “I’m sure that after the second one came off and his load shifted, he knew something was wrong.”
After passing the logging truck, the second tire rolled through a driveway and a snowbank, coming to rest near snow-covered softwood trees beside the westbound lane.
Coffin pulled over to the side of the road and stopped the truck beside the Blue Iris Motor Inn to await police just down from where the second tire stopped. Maifeld estimated the loaded tractor-trailer weighed about 100,000 pounds. It is owned by Coffin Trucking of West Paris.
Due to defective equipment on the logging truck, Bernard said he called the Maine State Police Commercial Enforcement Division, which sent Trooper Jeff DeGroot to determine why the wheels came off.
DeGroot arrived about 4:30 p.m. as temperatures fell below zero and he and the two Rumford officers began inspecting the wheel hub.
Rumford firefighters kept traffic flowing in one lane while clearing the road of debris.
Bernard said no charges would be pending from Rumford police.
Distributed by MCT Information Services