Wind topples tree onto cruiser with Bar Harbor police officer inside

Posted March 27, 2014, at 7:11 p.m.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — During Wednesday’s snowstorm, a tree fell on a local police officer’s cruiser. The officer avoided injury, but the vehicle had several thousands dollars worth of damage.

Lt. James Pinkham of the Bar Harbor Police Department said he had been out of his work vehicle on Route 3, helping with traffic control where another tree had fallen across the road by Jack Russell’s restaurant. Staff with the town’s highway and fire departments also were trying to clear the road around 4 p.m., he said Thursday.

“It was completely blocking the road, the first tree,” Pinkham said.

Pinkham said he had just gotten back into the cruiser when the second tree blew over in the fierce wind. He estimated that the tree was about 8 to 10 inches in diameter, though only about 6 inches wide at the part that actually struck his car.

The tree shattered the driver’s side window, next to where Pinkham had just settled in to his seat, and damaged the side view mirror. The cruiser does not have an emergency light rack on top, but the roof was dented in a little by the blow, he said.

Pinkham said he was shaken up a bit by the surprise impact, but otherwise, he was uninjured. He said he was lucky that no branches came through the window into the driver’s seat area.

“It could have been a lot different,” he said.

He joked that maybe helmets should be standard-issue equipment for police officers.

Pinkham estimated the damage to the cruiser was around $5,000, but he said that was only a guess.

“It could be more when they get looking at it,” he said.

 

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