DURHAM

State Police say human error led to a two-vehicle crash in Durham last month that killed two men.

On the morning of Sept. 21, a black 2003 Chevrolet pickup containing three men was traveling eastbound on Runaround Pond Road in Durham. As the pickup, owned by Plowman Construction of Gorham, reached the junction of Hallowell Road (Route 9) and Rabbit Road, the operator failed to stop at a stop sign. As the vehicle entered the junction, it collided with a Volvo dump truck that was traveling southbound along Hallowell Road, according to authorities.

The force of the impact caused the dump truck, owned by Larrabee Construction of Durham, to rotate 180 degrees and fall onto its left side. The pickup rotated violently and two of its three occupants were ejected. The pickup also caught fire.

“Based upon evidence at the crash site, crash reconstruction, medical records and eye-witness reports, the primary investigating officer, Trooper Martin Royle, determined that the pickup was operated by 24-year-old Brandon J. Harthorne of Cornish,” states a press release issued by Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Harthorne was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle through the driver’s door. He sustained multiple injuries and died instantly, as a result of blunt force trauma of the head.

The front-seat passenger was identified as 35-year-old Jeremy J. Reardon of Limington. Reardon was not wearing a seat belt and sustained multiple and significant injuries. He was transported by LifeFlight to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

The third occupant of the pick-up was seated in the rear passenger compartment, behind the front passenger. He was 21-year-old Malakai X. Cawood, also of Limington. Police say he also was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the rear passenger seat through the rear driver’s side passenger door. Cawood sustained multiple injuries and died instantly, as a result of blunt force trauma of the head.

The operator of the dump truck was Clifton H. Larrabee, 42, of Durham. He was wearing his seat belt, but was transported to Maine Medical Center in Portland with serious injuries.

Trooper Royle’s investigation determined the cause of the crash was human error. Royle eliminated mechanical failure, road or climatic conditions, speed and the presence of intoxicants as factors in the crash.



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