NEWPORT, Maine — A Garland man was killed and his female passenger seriously injured Wednesday in an accident at the intersection of Route 2 and Ridge Road in Newport.

Merle Dancer, 72, of Garland, who was driving a 1998 Dodge pickup, died at the scene, according to Newport police Sgt. Sanger Davis. Dancer’s passenger, 19-year-old Samantha Laurent of Corinna, was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Authorities told the Bangor Daily News on Wednesday morning that Laurent had been taken to the hospital in a LifeFlight helicopter. According to Davis, the helicopter was standing by until the decision was made to transport her by ambulance.

It was unknown at press time how Dancer and Laurent knew each other.

According to Newport police Chief Leonard Macdaid, a dump truck owned by T.H. Gerow and Son Trucking of Clinton was headed east on Route 2 about 7:30 a.m. when Dancer’s pickup truck pulled in front of it coming off Ridge Road. Witnesses told police it didn’t appear that Dancer saw the dump truck approaching. Both vehicles ended up side by side in a stand of bushes and small trees.

The driver of the dump truck, Brian Fish, 43, of St. Albans, was not injured. Officers from several agencies were at the scene Wednesday reconstructing the accident, but Davis said no charges are expected to result from the crash.

“It was just a terrible accident,” he said.

Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.