PARIS – Two Lewiston-Auburn young men can thank their safety-belt for preventing serious injury after the pickup truck they were in veered off Route 26, slammed into a tree and rolled over twice, Paris Patrolman Ron Cole said late Saturday afternoon.

Thomas Hart, 19, of Auburn, wasn’t injured in the accident, but his passenger, Christopher Moreno, 18, of Lewiston, who was asleep when it happened, suffered facial cuts, bruises, and glass-related injuries, Cole said.

At Moreno’s request, Moreno was taken by Pace Ambulance to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

The men were returning home at 4:05 p.m. from Sunday River Ski Resort, headed south on Route 26 when Hart reached for a CD on the floor, taking his eyes off the road, Cole said Hart told him.

The 1998 Nissan drifted onto the snowy shoulder, which caused it to slew and skid. The truck then whacked a tree, which spun the pickup around, causing it to roll over twice. The pickup came to rest lying on passenger side.

“They were walking around and talking when I got there,” Cole said.

One lane on the busy highway was shut down for about 30 minutes, while Paris firefighters directed traffic. Charlie’s Towing removed the totaled truck.

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