CAMDEN, Maine — A Philadelphia man is behind bars after police said he struck a car with a tractor-trailer and fled the scene.
Falikou Donzo, 29, was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with failure to report an accident, leaving the scene of an accident, driving to endanger and operating a defective motor vehicle.
He was taken to Knox County Jail in Rockland and made his initial court appearance Friday afternoon in Rockland District Court where Judge Patrick Ende set bail at $1,000 cash. The defense attorney for the day, William Pagnano, entered not guilty pleas on behalf of Donzo, who remained jailed later that afternoon.
The defendant is not a U.S. citizen, Pagnano said in court without revealing Donzo’s nationality. The judge advised Donzo to consult with an attorney about whether the offenses could affect his immigration status.
According to Camden police Detective Curt Andrick, Donzo was driving a tractor-trailer too fast north on Route 1 in Camden and jack-knifed his vehicle at the traffic light at the entrance to the Hannaford shopping center. A witness to the crash, who also was a former reserve police officer, estimated the truck was going 60 miles per hour when it slammed its brakes on as the light turned red, according to the affidavit filed by Camden police in court.
His vehicle struck a 2005 Toyota sedan also heading north and driven by Peter Reilly, 70, of Belfast. Reilly and his wife, Margaret Reilly, 66, were not injured.
Their vehicle, however, was destroyed.
Donzo did not stop but continued north on Route 1 until he was stopped by an officer with the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office at the Northport/Belfast townline. Donzo denied being in a crash, appeared confused and said he needed to get going because the longer he waited the more money he was losing, according to the affidavit.
A Maine State Police commercial vehicle inspection officer also responded and inspected the vehicle and found safety violations, Andrick said. Those violations included a cut in the brake line and non-functioning lights, according to the affidavit.
Donzo was delivering plants, the detective said, and the truck is owned by Mading Express of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. The state police commercial inspection report filed in court stated that the delivery was from a nursery in Maryland.
The vehicle was towed and will need to be repaired before being driven on the roads again, he added.
Camden Officer Tim Davis assisted in the investigation.