EDDINGTON, Maine — A head-on collision between a tractor-trailer and a car on Route 46 late Friday night has claimed the life of an Orrington man, Penobscot County Deputy Bobbie Pelletier said Saturday afternoon.
Ronald Frisco Jr., 43, was driving a 2007 Toyota Camry when he crossed the centerline around 9 p.m. and struck the big rig driven by Thomas Griffin, 61, of Machias. Frisco was killed instantly, the deputy said.
“He was coming home from work,” said Penobscot County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Troy Morton, who investigated the crash with Pelletier. “He was coming home from Calais,” where he had been working as a heavy equipment operator.
The deadly crash happened just past the Eddington-Holden town line, just beyond Holbrook School, Fire Chief Jim Ellis said Saturday morning.
“Just past the school, down the hill, there is a sharp curve,” he said. “It happened at the curve.”
Emergency responders from town and neighboring Holden arrived at the scene quickly but there was nothing they could do for Frisco, said Ellis, who is the fire chief for both communities. It took hours to remove his body from the debris, he said.
The cause of the crash “was pretty much driver inattention,” Pelletier said.
Morton met with Frisco’s family Saturday morning and said, “They’re devastated.”
The truck driver, who was hired by Blue Bird Ranch Inc. to carry a fish product from New Brunswick to Illinois, was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor with injuries that were not life-threatening, the deputy said. He had been released by noon Saturday.
Route 46, which connects the center of Holden to Eddington, was closed for around seven hours to allow Maine State Police to do a crash reconstruction investigation and the debris to be removed. The roadway reopened at around 5 a.m.
“We’ve been out all night” at the crash scene, said Morton, who said the crash remains under investigation.
In addition to local firefighters and rescue personnel from Holden and Eddington, the Dedham Fire Department provided extrication equipment. The Maine State Police commercial vehicle enforcement unit also assisted with the investigation.
“It’s a very tragic accident, as they all are,” Ellis said. “As sad as it is, there is some lessons to be learned” about paying attention while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.
“We talk about distracted driving all the time,” Morton said. “Distracted driving inattention is one of the of the leading causes of motor vehicle crashes.”