RUMFORD – Many motorists traveling to work Monday morning in Rumford had to seek an alternate route because Route 2 on Falls Hill was closed after a tractor-trailer snagged telephone wires and brought down two poles.

At 5:45 a.m., Rumford police received the call and discovered the broken poles scattered across the road. According to Patrolman Matthew Noyes, the road had to be shut down for three hours so FairPoint Communications workers could repair the poles, before one lane was opened for traffic.

Motorists looking to travel to Rumford and other towns were directed down the South Rumford and Wyman Hill roads to Route 108.

“The debris was minimal,” Noyes pointed out. “It was splintered utility poles that caused the shutdown of the road.”

In an interview with the truck’s operator, James W. Whittemore, 45, of Rumford, police determined that the wires had actually been pulled down slightly by another truck earlier that morning, without bringing down the poles. “We can’t substantiate who did it,” Noyes said.

As Whittemore was driving his red 2007 Volvo tractor-trailer west on the road, the trailer caught on the low hanging wires.

There was an estimated $1,000 damage, according to the police report, to the top left side of the trailer. No injuries were reported, and the truck was the only vehicle involved. An estimated $1,500 in damage was done to the poles.

Whittemore was driving for Midwest Price Co. of West Paris, and the truck was owned by Ryder Truck Rental. Noyes noted that the trailer was empty at the time of the accident.

In addition to Noyes, Rumford Patrolman Donald Miller and Lt. Dan Garbarini were on scene, as was the Rumford Fire Department to assist with traffic control.

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