BELFAST, Maine — A Montville man was killed earlier this week in a three-car crash on Route 3 in Belfast.
Peter Stewart, 67, had been traveling alone in his vehicle about 4:15 p.m. on Tuesday, July 7 when he came across a line of traffic that was stopped because of utility work happening near Pitcher Road. But Stewart did not appear to have seen the stopped vehicles in front of him.
“Best we can tell, he never even hit the brakes,” Detective Sgt. Matt Cook of the Belfast Police Department said Saturday.
Stewart crashed into a white Volvo SUV that was stopped, and the force of the crash catapulted the Volvo into the car in front of it. Two women who were in the white Volvo were seriously injured, though the injuries didn’t appear to be life-threatening, Cook said.
First responders performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Stewart, but ultimately he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The fatal crash marked the beginning of a busy stretch on the city’s roads for Belfast police officers and emergency responders. On Thursday afternoon, police were called to a vehicle fire on Lincolnville Avenue. When they arrived, they found a car with an engine that appeared to have caught fire, but with no one in it.
After a search, officers found a 22-year-old driver who evidently had “freaked out because she didn’t have a license, panicked, and took off,” Cook said. She was issued a summons for operating without a license.
Minutes after officers arrived at the scene of the vehicle fire, they were called to another crash on Route 1 at 1:43 p.m. A man who was heading to Rockland fell asleep at the wheel near the Belfast Armory. He drove across the northbound lane, hit a tree but was not seriously injured.
About an hour later, police got another call — this one regarding a driver who was rear-ended while trying to turn left on Edgecomb Road from Route 3. Both drivers were taken to Waldo County General Hospital to be treated, Cook said. At the same time, a tractor-trailer truck got into mechanical trouble on U.S. Route 1, blocking traffic temporarily.
It was the most crashes in an hour-long period that Cook could recall.
“We were kind of chasing calls underwater a little bit,” he said.
Correction: A previous version of this article included incorrect information about the fatal accident shared and later corrected by the Belfast Police Department.