CANTON — A Canton driver escaped injury early Wednesday afternoon when a young moose jumped into the path of his truck on Route 140, police said.

Robert Kenney, 41, was driving west from Jay toward Canton in a Ford Ranger pickup when the accident happened about 2/10ths of a mile from the Canton Point Road intersection.

Oxford County Detective Lt. Christopher Wainwright, who came across the accident, said the young female calf moose “popped up over a guardrail” from the Androscoggin River.

He said the collision smashed the hood of Kenney’s truck and “took out the whole back end of the moose.”

The moose then crawled about 50 feet into a potato field that had just been planted. Wainwright, who was wearing a suit and dress shoes, walked across the furrowed dirt to the animal and put it out of its misery.

Wainwright said Kenney was traveling at about 45 mph and braked just before impact.

“All I heard was a thud,” Kenney said.

Oxford County Detective Thomas Harriman, who handled the 1:15 p.m. accident, said glare from the sun was a factor.

Wainwright said the dead moose was dragged back toward the road so farmer Chris Enman of Canton could lift the unfortunate ungulate with a bucket loader and put the animal into the back of a pickup truck driven by Norman Meader of Canton.

Harriman said Kenney’s truck, which sustained an estimated $3,500 in damage, was hauled to his nearby automotive garage.

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