CYR PLANTATION, Maine — A Maine State trooper responding to a moose-vehicle collision late Tuesday night had his own moose encounter while in route.
Trooper Dennis Quint of the Houlton Barracks was northbound on U.S. Route 1 in Cyr Plantation in response to an earlier moose-vehicle accident involving Melissa Martin, 26, of Van Buren, according to information released early Wednesday by Sgt. Brian Harris of the Maine State Police.
According to the release, the moose stepped out into the road in front of Quint’s 2013 Ford Interceptor police cruiser and the trooper was unable to avoid hitting the animal.
Quint was transported to Cary Medical Center in Caribou by ambulance where he was treated and released for cuts to his head and hand.
His cruiser was totaled.
Quint was on his way to the scene of an accident where roughly a half-hour earlier, Martin had been heading north on Route 1 in Cyr Plantation in her 2000 Plymouth when a moose crossed the road in front of her and she was unable to avoid hitting it, according to Harris.
Martin and her passenger, Darlene Dias, 30, of Van Buren, were taken by ambulance to Cary Medical Center where they were treated for injuries not considered life-threatening.
A Brewer man died on Interstate 95 in Howland at about 1 a.m. on Tuesday in the first fatal moose-vehicle collision of 2014.
Sydney Oakes, 60, died at the scene after his Dodge Grand Caravan struck a moose as he drove in the southbound lane, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety
No passengers were in the vehicle, McCausland said.
Drivers should exercise caution at this time of year, especially when driving at night, McCausland said. Due to their height and dark coloring, moose are difficult to see at night and will often suddenly dart into roadways to escape insects, he said. They are especially active at night.
Maine typically records more than 500 moose-vehicle crashes annually, many resulting in serious injury. There were no fatal moose collisions in 2013 and in 2011, but two people died in separate crashes in 2012. Three fatal accidents occurred in 2010, McCausland said.
BDN writer Nick Sambides Jr. contributed to this report.