GILEAD — Damage to several hundred feet of new guardrail on Route 2 that was demolished last week in a logging truck rollover is estimated at between $15,000 and $20,000, Maine State Police Trooper Paul Casey said Tuesday.
Additionally, the driver of the 1996 International tractor-trailer truck, Douglas Rich, 47, of Milan, N.H., will not be charged, he said. Rich was not injured.
As for the cause, that hasn't been determined yet either, although Casey said the investigation into the Sept. 4 incident is now closed.
"There was an unconfirmed trailer problem, but (the accident) was most likely related to speed," Casey said.
He said troopers with the state police Commercial Enforcement Division were unavailable the day of the accident to check the trailer for problems that may have contributed to the rollover.
The accident happened at about 1:35 p.m. when Rich was driving a load of logs and pulp wood west about a mile east of Bridge Street. As the tractor-trailer truck owned by JML Trucking and Excavation of Errol, N.H., rounded a curve, it caused the trailer to shift, striking a utility pole as it was going over onto its side in the road, Casey said.
"It took out several hundred feet of guardrail," he said.
About three-quarters of the load was pulp logs, which rolled down the embankment once the guardrail was destroyed, he said. They were picked up the following day.
The day of the accident, a logging truck was used to remove the other quarter load of logs so the rig could be righted and pulled back on the road by an M/T Pockets tow truck, Casey said.
He estimated damage to the tractor-trailer truck at $10,000. Casey said that when the tractor-trailer rolled onto its side taking out the guardrails, that also sheared off the tines on the trailer that held the logs in place.
The trooper said he didn't know the estimated damage to Central Maine Power utility pole No. 93, that was snapped in the rollover, but held up by its guy wires and replaced later that day.
The accident happened in a section of the highway that was part of the Maine Department of Transportation's recent multimillion reconstruction project to improve driving safety by straightening curves, widening lanes, adding paved shoulders and removing deep sags to improve visibility.
"This happened on a corner, which was the site of previous tractor-trailer truck rollovers," Casey said. "That corner was fixed to prevent such accidents."