PARIS – The driver whose car was struck by a train on Thanksgiving remains in stable condition at Central Maine Medical Center, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Paul Chamberlain, 62, of Paris was flown to the Lewiston hospital Thursday after a 5,000-ton cargo train ran into his Pontiac at a crossing on Prospect Avenue just before High Street.

Sgt. Michael Dailey of the Paris Police Department said Friday that Chamberlain had broken bones, and possibly other internal wounds, but no life-threatening injuries.

Chamberlain was not allowing interviews Friday afternoon, according to a hospital official.

After speaking with Chamberlain’s family, Dailey said he learned that Chamberlain had no medical problems anyone was aware of that could have made him unresponsive as a train bore down on him.

The train’s conductor and engineer told police they blared the horn to alert Chamberlain, who they said they could see sitting upright and staring straight ahead in his car. But he made no effort to get out of the way, they said.

Even after applying an emergency brake, the operators could not prevent the train, which was traveling at 25 miles per hour, from crashing into the car and pushing it 110 feet down the tracks, Dailey said.

Chamberlain cannot remember being hit by the train, Dailey said, but he does recall riding in the ambulance and helicopter.

“He has no recollection of the accident,” he said. “His memory loss could be because of the injuries.”

Chamberlain was on his early morning paper route delivering the Portland Press Herald when the accident occurred around 5 a.m. Dailey said he will check Chamberlain’s car to see if perhaps he had spilled something or reached to grab an object right before being hit.

According to Chamberlain’s driving license, he has no hearing or vision problems, Dailey said.

Dailey said he will also check for vehicle defects.

“I’m just trying to eliminate different things,” he said.


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