PARIS – An accident reconstruction specialist said Wednesday that improper evasive action led to a crash in which a Bethel woman was killed in March.

Paris police accident reconstructionist Cpl. Michael Dailey said the driver of a tractor trailer actually veered to the left into the oncoming lane to avoid a pickup truck, signaling a turn into KBS Building Systems on Route 26.

Killed in the crash was Rebecca Shaw, 54, of Bethel who was traveling in the southbound lane.

Dailey said charges were possible, but in all likelihood they would not be criminal.

He said he would turn his report over to the Oxford County Assistant District Attorney’s Office.

“They will make the decision if a person should be criminally liable,” Dailey said.

The crash occurred on March 10. Logging truck driver Wayne Hillsgrove of Alton, N.H., was driving north on Route 26. He was followed by his brother Lee, also of Alton, who also was driving a logging truck.

The pair was approaching KBS Building Systems’ housing plant and a pickup truck facing north was stopped in the left lane waiting to make a left turn into the business.

Willie Gaudreau, 38, of North Waterford was driving the pickup and Asa Hunton, 25, of Norway was a passenger.

Wayne, in the first truck, swerved to his right to avoid the pickup.

Dailey said Lee, in the second truck, said he struck the pickup and that collision took him across the oncoming lane of traffic.

Dailey said, however, that the reconstruction proved different.

“He (Lee) made a steering change before impact with the pickup,” Dailey said. “The front of the truck didn’t hit the pickup, one of the side supports did. There was not braking that I could determine.

“As a matter of fact he didn’t know if he even slammed on his brakes,” Dailey added.

He said the pickup truck became attached to the side of the logging truck momentarily.

Shaw was driving a Volvo southbound when the logging truck crossed into her lane. Dailey said there was evidence that she was braking and taking evasive action to the right.

But she couldn’t escape.

“I’m sure after the impact with the pickup truck his load began to shift and he probably lost all control,” Dailey said.

The truck and Volvo collided in the breakdown lane and the momentum carried both vehicles toward a snowbank. Once on the snowbank, the load on the truck shifted and it came down on the Volvo.

The State Medical Examiner said Shaw suffered extensive injuries from the first impact.

Dailey said there was no indication the trucks were speeding, as the limit in the area is 55 miles per hour.

Lee said he did not see brake lights or turn signals on the pickup truck, but a witness traveling behind Shaw said he saw the signal lights working.

Dailey said it was hard to say it the second truck was following too close to the first one.

“It’s possible his attention shifted to his brother when he swerved to the right and then back to the center of the road,” Dailey said. “And when he saw the pickup it was just too late.”



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