RUMFORD — A logging-truck driver from Quebec managed to get into two traffic accidents less than 30 minutes apart at the same location on Friday.
Luckily, everyone involved was wearing safety belts and there were no injuries, police Sgt. Douglas Maifeld said.
At 1:55 p.m., Justin Hamner, 28, of Mexico, was stopped in the westbound lane of Route 2, waiting to turn left onto South Rumford Road, he said.
With him in a 2001 Dodge Intrepid were his wife and three children.
At the same time, Martin Boudreau, 31, of Compton, Quebec, Canada, attempted to turn left from South Rumford Road onto Route 2. He was driving a loaded 2012 Kenworth tractor-trailer owned by Transport J. M. Champeau of St. Malo, Quebec.
The Kenworth cab struck the driver's side of the Intrepid, causing an estimated $1,000 damage to the Dodge, but none to the Kenworth, Maifeld said.
Boudreau “said he never saw him, but the car was directly in front of him, so I don't know why he couldn't see it,” the sergeant said. “He was sitting up high in the truck, but I guess the front of the rig can block it.”
After getting information from both drivers and releasing them, Maifeld said he returned to his cruiser.
He said Boudreau swung the cab wide to the right to turn left onto Route 2, so the trailer wouldn't overrun the South Rumford Road traffic island.
“I heard a loud crunch, turned over and looked and saw (Boudreau) get out of the truck and start yelling and holding his hands to his head,” Maifeld said.
“I don't know what he was yelling. It was in French.”
When he had attempted to turn left a second time, what Boudreau hadn't seen at 2:23 p.m. was a silver 2004 Toyota Camry driven by Carleton Harrigan, 87, of Rumford.
Maifeld said Harrigan had pulled in beside the logging truck cab to go around it as other drivers ahead of him had done when exiting South Rumford Road onto Route 2.
Like Boudreau, Harrigan was attempting to turn left and didn't realize the trucker was about to do the same thing.
Maifeld said he hurriedly got out of his cruiser when the still-yelling Boudreau headed for Harrigan's car.
Unsure if Boudreau was yelling at himself and/or Harrigan, Maifeld told the truck driver to move away from the Camry. Boudreau complied.
Harrigan and his wife weren't injured, but their car sustained an estimated $2,000 in damage, Maifeld said.
The right front side of the Kenworth, which was only a few weeks old, sustained an estimated $1,000 in damage, he said.
“It was the first time in my 23 years as a police officer that I've had an operator be the same driver in two crashes less than 30 minutes apart at the same location,” Maifeld said.
“Poor guy. It happens.”