SABATTUS — Three teenagers were charged with aggravated assault this week, accused of dropping chunks of ice onto passing traffic from a turnpike overpass more than a year ago.
Maine State Police say the boys, ages 16 and 17, were the culprits who hurled massive chunks of ice onto passing cars and trucks on an evening in January 2009.
Two men were hurt by the falling ice as they drove along the turnpike in separate trucks beneath Webster Road in Lewiston.
One of the men was seriously injured. Bob Deschaine of Sabattus was knocked unconscious when ice smashed through his windshield, hitting him in the face. A relative in the passenger seat was able to grab the wheel and bring the truck to a stop.
Deschaine suffered cuts and head injuries.
“He was struck by a beach-ball-sized chunk of ice,” said Maine State Police Spokesman Stephen McCausland. “It’s remarkable that he survived.”
The three boys, students at Oak Hill High School in Wales, were charged with aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon.
Tracking them down was not easy, police said.
Moments after Deschaine was knocked unconscious inside his truck, Lewiston police and Maine State Police searched the area around the overpass. The suspects were not found.
Because the incident happened on the highway, state police investigated. Trooper Roger Teachout was assigned to the case and never let it go.
“He’s been following up on this, as well as some similar incidents that occurred along the turnpike,” McCausland said. “He got some new information in the last couple of weeks that led to these three boys.”
Police did not know Thursday night whether the three suspects had been jailed. They were expected to make court appearances in May.