Driver OK, cow moose dead meat after crash

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AUBURN – A Windham man escaped with only minor injuries when his rental car slammed into a moose just south of Auburn at about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Mathieu Rochette, 25, was heading south on the Maine Turnpike when his car hit the roughly 300-pound cow moose.

“There it was, just standing in the middle of the road,” said Trooper Michael Cook of the Maine State Police. “It happens this time of year.”

Cook said he has seen more moose encounters along the turnpike this year than he did last year.

“But it’s not a bad year, comparatively,” he said. “It happens when the bugs really start coming out.”

Cook estimated Rochette was traveling about 70 mph when he hit the moose, which rolled across the hood of the rented PT Cruiser and into the windshield. Rochette’s injuries were relatively minor and included scratches to the head and arm, Cook said.

Rochette was taken to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston and was treated and released, according to the hospital.

The moose was destroyed and the body collected by a turnpike maintenance crew. The PT Cruiser was significantly damaged, Cook said.

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