June 21, 2018
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Motorcycle hits Sheriff’s Department van in Farmington

By Ann Bryant, Sun Journal

FARMINGTON, Maine — A motorcycle driver and passenger escaped injury Monday morning when they hit a Franklin County Sheriff’s Department van attempting a turn from Fairbanks Road onto County Way.

The van driver and three passengers also escaped injury.

Johnnie Belanger, 58, of Washington was driving his 2010 Harley-Davidson north behind the 2011 GMC county van driven by Phillip Richards. Richards started to turn right into the entrance to the Sheriff’s Department and Franklin County Detention Center, Farmington Officer Kim Bates said.

Belanger said he thought the van driver had a left direction signal on and attempted to go around him on the right. As the van turned, he struck the van on the center passenger side, she said.

Neither vehicle was going very fast, and both came to a stop as Belanger laid the motorcycle down.

Belanger’s passenger, Pam Riley, 39, of North Whiteford, wasn’t hurt, just shaken up, she said at the scene. Both she and Belanger were wearing helmets. There was no damage to the motorcycle other than a bent foot pedal.

Neither Phillips nor his passengers, Officer Albert Smith and two inmates riding in the back seat, were injured. The officers were returning the inmates from the Somerset County Jail, and both wore seat belts, Bates said.

The van received dents and scratches on the right side. Damage was estimated at more than $1,000, she said.

To see more from the Sun Journal, visit sunjournal.com.

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