BELFAST, Maine — A Rockland woman was killed Monday afternoon when her Ford Focus crossed the centerline of Route 52 and swerved into the path of a loaded dump truck.
Janice Brown, 54, who was alone in her vehicle, died at the scene, according to Belfast Police Chief Jeff Trafton. She was a Child and Family Services caseworker for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and was driving a state car.
“We don’t know why she crossed the centerline and we probably never will,” Trafton said later Monday.
When the Focus collided with the dump truck at about 1:15 p.m. south of the Edgecomb Road intersection, both vehicles burst into flames. They were fully engulfed when police arrived at the scene, according to the chief.
“The fire department had it out pretty quickly,” Trafton said.
Dump truck driver Michael Haynes, 39, of Lincolnville was not injured but was “very distraught,” Trafton said. Both vehicles were destroyed after the crash.
The speed limit where the accident occurred is 40 mph.
Because of the collision and the ensuing fires, police initially closed a segment of Route 52 — roughly from the Troy Howard Middle School to the Back Belmont Road intersection. Though authorities reopened some of the road, it remained closed from the Edgecomb Road to the Back Belmont Road until about 5:30 p.m. as officials worked to clear the scene.
Agencies that assisted the Belfast Police Department included the Maine State Police, the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office, the Belfast Fire Department, the Belfast Public Works Department, Belfast Ambulance and the Department of Environmental Protection.
The crash was the second fatal traffic accident that has happened in Belfast in the last two weeks. On May 11, a Machiasport man died after driving into the path of a tractor-trailer cab on Route 1. Before that, Trafton said it had been a couple of years since the city’s last traffic accident fatality.