FAIRFIELD – A Fairfield police officer who caused an accident while making a U-turn in pursuit of a speeding car should not be cited with a motor vehicle infraction, an assistant attorney general said Thursday.

The driver of the car he was pursuing, however – an investigator with the district attorney’s office – could end up with a speeding ticket, District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said.

A crash report by Maine State Police showed that Officer William Beaulieu failed to yield the right of way when his cruiser made a U-turn on Route 201 and was struck by a truck on Jan. 31.

Beaulieu was southbound. The truck was heading north. Fairfield police said Beaulieu had his cruiser lights on but no siren, and he simply didn’t see the truck coming the other way.

James Ross, a domestic-violence investigator with the Somerset County district attorney’s office, also was northbound and had passed the truck, according to Maloney.

Ross was returning to his Skowhegan office from a bail check in Fairfield, Maloney said. He was driving a county vehicle.

“He hasn’t received a speeding ticket, but he plans to pay his speeding ticket if he receives it,” Maloney said. “That will be coming.”

She said Beaulieu was unconscious at the accident scene and was not able to write Ross a ticket.

State police Sgt. Aaron Hayden said no criminal charges will be brought.

Deputy Attorney General William Stokes said there should be no traffic citation issued to Beaulieu.

“I don’t see this as an illegal U-turn,” Stokes said. “I also looked at the failure to yield, and that doesn’t really apply, either. I don’t see that there’s any traffic violation or infraction.”

He said the U-turn did not happen on a curve or the crest of a hill where the oncoming vehicle could not be seen. It was a straight section of road, Stokes said.

He said the case comes down to a civil standard, involving insurance and who was liable for the crash.

Beaulieu suffered minor injuries to his head, neck and back and was treated and released from MaineGeneral Medical Center in Waterville. The cruiser was destroyed.

The truck’s driver, Michael Kresge of Skowhegan, suffered whiplash from the impact and has not returned to work yet, according to his attorney, Alison Wholey of Rockport.

“He is in treatment and the full extent of his injuries is not known,” Wholey said Thursday.

Police originally said Kresge was not injured.

The truck, which came to rest in a stand of small trees, was not badly damaged.

 

Doug Harlow can be contacted at 612-2367 or at:

[email protected]