1 hurt as pickup plows into Belfast building

Posted Oct. 25, 2010, at 8:37 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — A woman escaped major injury Monday afternoon outside her Belfast housing complex when she was knocked sideways by a pickup truck that then ripped a hole in the side of a building.

The accident happened at about 2:30 p.m. when Winifred Reynolds, 81, was trying to get into a Dodge Ram 1500 truck that was being driven by her friend Corliss Holland, 87. Police said Holland had parked in front of the Hilltop Birches complex community building on School Street and then gone to help Reynolds into the passenger seat, but the truck was locked. When he got back in the truck to open the door, police believe, he didn’t realize the truck was in reverse with the four-wheel drive activated, said Patrolman Wendall Ward of the Belfast Police Department.

“He hit the gas and the truck skidded sideways,” Ward said. “The truck knocked her down.”

It also plowed into the laundry room.

Reynolds, who hit her head on the ground, was taken to Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast, was treated and then discharged, according to a hospital official.

Holland was shaken up, but not injured, Ward said.

“Oh, my God, it was scary,” said Joanne Sabins, who also is a resident of the housing complex.

Sabins said she was in the building’s social room for a meeting on nutrition along with five other people when the truck broke through a wall and door nearby.

“We heard a crash, and it kept on going,” Sabins said. “Somebody said, ‘Winnie’s down!’”

The truck may have caused about $2,200 in damage to the building, which had a broken window, broken door and wrecked siding, according to Ward.

He said that because the truck had come to a halt lodged perfectly between the broken building and a “Visitors Parking” sign, it took a little time to figure out exactly how the incident had happened.

“For one split second, I had to think — did he come all the way through the building?” Ward said. “We’re fortunate the lady wasn’t hurt.”

Resident Janice Emerson, who was startled by the crash, agreed.

“It’s just a miracle he didn’t back over her,” she said.