SEARSMONT, Maine — Belfast City Councilor Mike Hurley and his wife, Therese Bagnardi, totaled their truck but escaped serious injury early Wednesday morning when they hit a patch of black ice on Route 3 and the vehicle spun out of control.
“I was just going along straight, 55 [mph]. We weren’t pushing it. A big truck, great tires,” Hurley said later that day after being released from the hospital. “The next thing you knew, we were screaming, going down the road sideways.”
Hurley said that he was driving with his wife toward Augusta at 4:30 a.m. in their pickup for a medical appointment when the truck drove onto the black ice near the former Crowe Rope manufacturing building. The vehicle went into a ditch, then across it, slamming head-on into the embankment of a nearby driveway at high speed. The airbags deployed on impact, he said, adding that he is glad they were both wearing their seatbelts.
“I feel like somebody smacked me in the chest with a sledgehammer,” Hurley said.
He suffered an injured knee and other bumps and bruises and Bagnardi, who owns the Colonial Theatre, also suffered bumps and bruises.
“How easy it would have been to get killed,” he said of the crash.
Hurley said that they called 911 and rescuers arrived promptly, including a Maine State Police trooper. The couple was taken to the emergency room at Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast for treatment.
“We live in the middle of nowhere, but within a reasonable amount of time, there was somebody there. The ambulance showed up, police showed up and took us to this great emergency room, where they did everything,” Hurley said. “We may not be the biggest place on the planet, but they took care of us.”
It is the second time in a month that a Belfast City Councilor has suffered injuries in an accident. On March 8, Eric Sanders was biking home after a 20-mile ride when he was struck from behind by an allegedly drunken driver who then left the injured councilor on the ground. Sanders suffered a mangled ear and a broken vertebrae in his back. A Knox man was arrested in connection with the hit-and-run accident a week later.