PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The condition of a Fort Fairfield man severely injured last week in an accident that killed a passenger in his vehicle has improved, according to a hospital spokesperson.
David Hayes, 63, is in serious condition at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, a spokesperson said late Tuesday afternoon. He had been listed in critical condition since the accident during a snowstorm on Feb.18.
The incident on Conant Road actually involved two separate crashes that combined to cause the death of Roman Yoder of Fort Fairfield, Hayes’ 22-year-old passenger.
The first crash involved Philip Bird, 60, of Fort Fairfield, who was heading westbound on Conant Road in his 2008 Chevrolet pickup. The truck collided head-on with a city-owned plow truck driven by Wayne Howlett, 40, of Mapleton, according to Presque Isle Police Chief Matthew Irwin.
Bird then got out of his vehicle and got into the plow truck to exchange information with the plow driver, according to Martin Puckett, deputy city manager in Presque Isle.
At that point Hayes, who was driving a Ford Escape with Yoder inside, came up behind the plow truck. Puckett said that it wasn’t clear yet whether the SUV stopped or was still moving slowly when the second accident happened.
According to Puckett, the men in the plow truck said they did not feel the Ford Escape strike their vehicle.
The driver of a loaded logging truck, Leigh Gordon, 56, of Ashland, did not see Hayes’ vehicle and struck it from behind, pushing it into the plow truck, according to police.
Yoder was pronounced dead at the scene. The young man was a member of one of a dozen Amish families that have moved into the communities of Fort Fairfield and Easton since 2007.
The accident remains under investigation, but whiteout conditions because of snow and high winds were a contributing factor, the police chief said.