Two people were taken by LifeFlight helicopter to hospitals early Tuesday morning after a commercial box truck struck a man trying to cross U.S. Route 201 in Skowhegan on foot, police said.

Skowhegan police Chief David Bucknam said the 5:45 a.m. crash occurred when the pedestrian, a man who lives on U.S. 201, also known as Waterville Road, was walking back to his home after picking up his Morning Sentinel newspaper across the street.

The commercial box truck, a Freightliner, was traveling west on Waterville Road and its driver tried to avoid striking the pedestrian, according to a news release from Bucknam.

“The truck swerved but was unable to avoid the pedestrian, striking him on the passenger side of the vehicle,” it says.

When the truck swerved, it struck a second vehicle, a Chevrolet Aveo sedan traveling east on Waterville Road, according to Bucknam.

“Due to the nature of the injuries, LifeFlight was called for the pedestrian and the driver of the sedan,” Bucknam said. “The driver of the commercial box truck sustained minor injuries.”

Bucknam said he was not yet releasing names of those involved in the accident “due to injuries and notifications,” but he said the driver of the box truck has a Clinton post office address. The address of the sedan driver was not available.

Bucknam said later that the pedestrian was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and the driver of the sedan to Maine Medical Center in Portland.

The crash occurred near Sappi, the paper mill on Waterville Road.

Skowhegan police worked with the Maine State Police reconstruction team, the state police weights and measures team, and the state Department of Environmental Protection, as a large amount of diesel spilled, according to Bucknam.

The U.S. Postal Service sent investigators to the scene because a driver of one of the vehicles was a private person who contracts for the postal service and was carrying mail, according to Bucknam.

Bucknam said in a phone conversation Tuesday afternoon that he is not sure which driver was working for the postal service.

“It’s still under investigation right now, and there’s no status on the pedestrian or the other driver,” he said.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17