A Sagadahoc County sheriff’s deputy escaped serious injury Saturday morning after he reportedly nodded off behind the wheel of his cruiser and crashed into a tree, Sheriff Joel Merry said Saturday. Credit: Sagadahoc County Sheriff's Office

BOWDOIN, Maine — A Sagadahoc County sheriff’s deputy escaped serious injury Saturday morning after he reportedly nodded off behind the wheel of his cruiser and crashed into a tree, Sheriff Joel Merry said Saturday.

The crash happened as he neared the end of his overnight shift.

Deputy Allen Huntington, 55, of Lisbon was pinned in the vehicle and had to be extricated by firefighters, Merry said.

Huntington was not seriously injured. He was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, where he was treated and then released.

The crash happened shortly before 7 a.m. in front of 533 Main St., about a quarter mile from the Lisbon town line, Merry said.

The 2013 Dodge Charger cruiser was traveling west on Main Street and veered off the left side of the road and struck a tree nearly head on, the sheriff said. The vehicle came to rest in an upright position but was destroyed in the crash.

“The preliminary investigation indicates the deputy fell asleep and lost control of the vehicle,” Merry said in a news release Saturday. “The deputy was just finishing his shift after having worked overnight.”

“We are very fortunate that the deputy was not seriously injured,” Merry said. “The advanced safety mechanisms in today’s cruisers are remarkably dependable, including seatbelts and airbags. Clearly, the injuries could have been a lot worse.”

Merry said that Huntington will be out of work for a few days but is expected to return in good condition.

Huntington has been with Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office for 10 years and has had no previous crashes.

The accident is being investigated by the Maine State Police.