A Livermore woman was killed Monday morning when her sport utility vehicle was trapped under a propane truck after they collided on Main Street in Fayette.

Diane Gould, 45, a mother of three and local school board member, was taken by ambulance to meet a LifeFlight helicopter at Kents Hill School, but died before reaching the hospital, said Chief Deputy Ryan Reardon of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.

Rescue crews spent several hours removing Gould from her Subaru SUV, which was pinned underneath the Downeast Energy propane truck.

Alan Cheney, 52, of Readfield, who was driving the propane truck, was taken to the hospital for treatment of a minor shoulder injury, Reardon said.

Reardon said Cheney, who was driving west, lost control of the truck on a sharp downhill curve. The truck crossed into the oncoming lane, where it hit the eastbound Subaru. The impact flipped the truck over and onto the Subaru, crushing it.
Reardon said driving too fast for the road conditions likely contributed to the crash.

“There was a significant amount of ice on the roadway prior to the area (of the crash),” Reardon said.

Blood from both drivers will be tested for intoxicants, which is standard procedure in crashes that involve serious injury or death.

Reardon said substances are not believed to have been a factor in the crash. He said there will be no decision on charges until the investigation is complete.

Fayette Fire Chief Marty Maxwell said two homes on nearby Clark Lane were evacuated around 9 a.m. because of propane leaking from the overturned truck. Six residents were taken to the Fayette Central School until about 2:30 p.m., when they were allowed to return home.

The propane was eventually pumped into another truck sent by Downeast Energy. The road around the crash site on Main Street, which is Route 17, was closed from the time of the crash, around 8 a.m., until shortly after 3 p.m.

Trooper Bernard Campbell of the Maine State Police Commercial Vehicle Division said propane was leaking from a supply valve on the bottom of the truck. Firefighters spent much of the morning spraying water on it to try to keep the propane contained.

Maxwell said the water helped disperse the leaking gas. “Our biggest concern was the leaking propane,” he said.

Cheney had just started his day, meaning the truck was full of propane at the time of the crash. Maxwell was unsure how much leaked before it was transferred to a second truck. “It wasn’t a significant amount,” he said.

Maxwell said fluids, such as fuel and oil, also leaked from the truck. He asked officials from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to respond as a precaution, but there was no significant spill.
“We just wanted all the players to come,” Maxwell said.

Gould was on the board of directors of the Spruce Mountain School District, Regional School Unit 73.

Denise Rodzen of Livermore Falls, board chairman, said Monday that she served with Gould on the board of the former Regional School Unit 36 as well.

“She was a very close friend,” Rodzen said. “She was very civic-minded, very community-oriented and very family-oriented.”

Rodzen said Gould was a full-time mother of three sons, the oldest a freshman in high school. Her husband, William “Tom” Gould, is in the merchant marine.