MEXICO — A Rumford woman whose sport-utility vehicle rear-ended a garbage truck attempting to turn left off Route 2 early Tuesday afternoon was charged with driving away from the scene, police said.
Mexico officer Mike Grenier said he charged Dawn M. Miller, 35, with leaving the scene of an accident and having no insurance on her black 1999 Dodge Durango, which stopped a half mile away after engine fluids drained out. She will be arraigned on Oct. 5 in Rumford District Court.
Witness Tammy Caldwell of Mexico said she was driving south on Route 2 near the Big Apple Shell gas station and convenience store when the accident happened at 1:15 p.m. in the opposite lane right beside her car.
J and J Disposal garbage truck driver Tim Thayer, 33, of Farmington, said he had stopped in the north-bound lane to turn left into a lot beside the station and had to wait for a long line of oncoming traffic to go by.
“He had been stopped there quite a while,” Caldwell said. “He had his blinker on and she was coming up behind him wicked fast. Then she slammed into him as I went by and I saw smoke when I looked in my rear-view mirror.”
Thayer said the force of the impact lifted the rear of the 20,000-pound truck into the air. He banged his head against the rear window of the truck, which is owned by Archies' Inc. of Mexico. Damage to its steel rear bumper, which was caved in, was estimated at $2,000.
Grenier said he didn't know how fast Miller was driving, but the speed limit drops from 55 mph to 40 mph several hundred feet before the impact site. Caldwell said Miller applied the brakes just prior to slamming into the garbage truck.
Thayer said the SUV then caromed off his truck, bounced off a guardrail just down the road, and disappeared around the corner.
The SUV — it's front end crushed and rubbing on the driver's side front tire — stopped on Highland Terrace road behind the VIP Parts, Tires and Service store, which faces Route 2 a half mile from the accident site.
Med-Care Ambulance and Rumford firefighters in their Rescue 1 squad truck assisted Mexico firefighters at both scenes. Traffic was detoured off Highland Terrace.
One Rumford firefighter helped comfort Miller, who was visibly shaken up, and tended to by Med-Care while laying on her back on a lawn opposite her Dodge.
Grenier said that Miller was injured, but refused treatment. Additionally, Thayer walked stiffly and said his head hurt, but he, too, declined treatment at the scene.