Minimal environmental damage caused by Aroostook truck colliding with train

Posted Oct. 16, 2013, at 3:54 p.m.

NASHVILLE PLANTATION, Maine — Officials with the Department of Environmental Protection said Wednesday afternoon that “minimal environmental damage” was caused when a truck collided with a train in Nashville Plantation on Monday.

Crews were mostly finished cleaning up the damage by Wednesday afternoon, said Lee Thomas, an emergency spill responder in the DEP’s Presque Isle office.

The crash took place just prior to 11 a.m. at the intersection of Little Machias Road and the Pinkham Road and involved a truck owned by CNA Trucking of Fort Kent and a Maine Northern Railway train.

Claire Theriault said on Monday evening that she and her husband, Herman Theriault, own the trucking company. Claire Theriault said Wayne Pelletier, who was driving the truck, told her that he was coming down a hill and that by the time he saw the train, he could not stop.

The train hit the trailer, knocking the truck over and derailing the locomotive. No injuries were reported.

The accident “also caused what looks to be a lot of damage to the rail line as well,” Thomas said.

He added that the DEP was primarily concerned with any fuels that would have spilled from the vehicles.

“But there was not a lot of that happening at all,” he said. “The cleanup was pretty minor. The truck driver had a spill kit aboard and had taken action before we got there. There was some motor oil and lube oil that was spilled but we cleaned that up pretty quickly.”

Thomas said that the railway worked for the past two days to repair the damaged line and used a crane to put the locomotive back on the tracks so that it could be moved elsewhere for repairs.

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