A state police accident reconstruction team will try to determine how fast a Shapleigh firefighter was driving on Sunday when she lost control of a tanker-pumper and it rolled over, destroying the truck and sending her to the hospital.

Capt. Natasha Kinney, 30, of Lebanon, who has been with the Shapleigh Fire Department for five years, had left the scene of a dryer fire on Ross Corner Road at 5 p.m. and was headed to refuel the tanker-pumper.

She rounded a bend on Newfield Road and lost control as she was trying to avoid a group of oncoming motorcycles, State Police said.

The truck rolled, crushing the cab and pinning Kinney, who was wearing a seatbelt, inside. Firefighters were called to extricate her from the truck and she was flown by LifeFlight helicopter to Maine Medical Center.

Investigators hope to determine whether the truck’s speed played a role in the accident.

Kinney was treated for cuts and bruises and is now home recuperating, said Fire Chief Duane Romano.

“She has a lot of bruises everywhere. She’s going to be sore,” he said. “She’s lucky she came out of it, that’s the main thing. Trucks can be replaced.”

Shapleigh has a call department, meaning volunteers who often have other jobs are paid only for the time they spend responding. The 2005 truck, which was destroyed, is insured by the town, Romano said.

The motorcyclists told police that Kinney did well to avoid them. Witnesses said Kinney tried to give the bikers more room, but in doing so went off the road, swerved back into traffic and then overcorrected and the truck rolled over.

The truck came within two feet of slamming into a utility pole, Romano said. He said the truck was carrying 1,800 gallons of water, which can slosh back and forth in the tank and affect a truck’s stability.

Trooper Dan Worcester said investigators are trying to determine if speed played a role in the accident. He said the motorcyclists were doing nothing improper.

 

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: [email protected]om