NEWRY — The holiday weekend kept authorities throughout the state busy handling multiple motorcycle crashes on Maine roads, including fatal crashes in Somerset and Aroostook counties.
A Bryant Pond man was transported to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewison with life-threatening injuries Sunday night following a Monday afternoon crash on Route 26 in Newry. Maine State Police Trooper Dan Hanson said the crash occurred at 4:48 p.m. just north of the Newry Town Office.
Hanson said 61-year-old Raymond Melanson was taken directly into surgery at Central Maine Medical Center after being transported to the facility by LifeFlight from Rumford Hospital.
Melanson was riding his 2010 Yamaha touring motorcycle when he sideswiped a utility pole and he and his motorcycle were thrown nearly 120 feet from the initial impact, according to Hanson. He said Melanson was not wearing a helmet and sustained serious head trauma and leg injuries.
Hanson said Melanson was traveling with another motorcyclist who was riding in front of him.
"We were very fortunate in this case they were close enough that they had cellphone service right there at the scene," Hanson said.
Hanson said the crash remains under investigation and is being reconstructed by himself and Cpl. Justin Brown of the Oxford County Sheriff's Office. Route 26 was down to one lane for nearly two hours Monday afternoon. Newry Fire Department assisted at the scene and Med-Care Ambulance transported Melanson to Rumford Hospital.
Also in Oxford County, authorities were investigating a second motorcycle crash Monday night in Sumner. It occurred on Black Mountain Road near the Greenwood Road intersection and was being handled by the Oxford County Sheriff's Office.
Sgt. Tim Holland of the Oxford Sheriff's Office said the crash occurred at 6:30 p.m. The operator, 21-year-old Joshua Palmer of Peru, was transported to Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway. No other information about his injuries or condition was available Monday night.
Holland said Palmer was southbound on Greenwoods Road when he lost control of the 2005 Honda racing motorcycle. He laid the motorcycle down and slid through the intersection of Black Mountain Road. The crash remained under investigation late Monday night, but speed and inexperience are believed to be factors in the crash.
In a third Monday crash, a 26-year-old Caribou man who had his motorcycle permit for just one day died after the motorcycle he was riding hit a guardrail on Route 11 in Eagle Lake in Aroostook County. Maine State Police reported Jason Michaud was riding with three other people shortly before noon when his motorcycle drifted off the right side of the road and hit the guardrail, throwing him down an embankment.
He died at the scene. Police report inexperience played a major role in the crash, but did not consider speed a factor.
Also this weekend, a Canadian man was killed after being thrown from his 2009 Harley-Davidson motorcycle when he hit a moose on Route 201 in Somerset County. The crash occurred Saturday night in Dennistown, just north of Jackman.