September 17, 2013

Dump truck hits, kills Maine man collecting bottles

The dump-truck driver swerved to avoid a collision with an oncoming tractor-trailer and hit an 84-year-old man, police say.

By DOUG HARLOW Morning Sentinel

STARKS — An 84-year-old Anson man picking up bottles by the road was killed instantly Tuesday morning when he was struck by a fully loaded, 10-wheel dump truck on Route 43, just south of the Starks/Anson town line.

click image to enlarge

Walter Cowan, 84, of Anson was killed Tuesday after he was hit by a town of Starks dump truck driven by town employee Ronald Giguere, 71, of Solon, on state Route 43 in Starks.

Staff photo by David Leaming

click image to enlarge

Starks town employee Ronald Giguere, 71, of Solon, was driving a town dumptruck when he hit and killed a man on the side of the road Tuesday.

Staff photo by David Leaming

The man, Walter Cowan, had stopped his 2006 Chevy Trail Blazer on the southbound side of the road about a half-mile from the junction of Route 148 in Anson, leaving the vehicle partially in the road, according to Dale Lancaster, chief deputy of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department.

The dump truck, a 2005 International registered to the town of Starks, was driven by Ronald Giguere, 71, of Solon, a Starks employee.

Lancaster said police think Cowan was walking back to the driver’s side of the Trail Blazer when a tractor-trailer, which was going north on Route 43, approached the area from Starks village.

Giguere, driving the dump truck, tried to go around the parked Trail Blazer but suddenly maneuvered to avoid a collision with the oncoming tractor-trailer and struck Cowan, Lancaster said.

The road was closed in both directions to all traffic, including residents, from 10:40 a.m. when the accident happened until about 2 p.m. A hearse from Giberson’s Funeral Home in Bingham arrived about 1 p.m. The Trail Blazer was towed away just before 1:30 p.m.

The dump truck, loaded with gravel, remained parked by the accident scene. Damage was apparent to the truck’s right front quarter panel.

Giguere, approached at the road block on Route 43 as he awaited further questioning by investigators, appeared shaken and said he did not want to talk about the accident.

Lancaster said Giguere was given a blood test, which is routine for any fatal motor vehicle accident. He said test results will not be ready for several days.

The test is not an indication that alcohol or speed were factors in the accident, Lancaster said. He said the district attorney’s office will examine the accident report by the sheriff’s department, as is routine after a fatal accident.

Cpl. Michael Ross of the sheriff’s department reconstructed the accident. A state police motor vehicle unit inspected the dump truck. Lancaster said members of the Anson Fire Department and the Anson, Madison, Starks Ambulance Service assisted in the investigation.

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