PARIS — A Bingham man was handed a 90-day jail sentence Friday in Oxford County Superior Court after pleading guilty to striking a construction flagger with his pickup truck in November 2012 in Mexico.

Michael Tremblay, 55, pleaded guilty to aggravated driving to endanger and was sentenced to a three-year prison term with all but 90 days suspended. He was also given two years of probation, a $1,000 fine and a six-month license suspension.

According to Assistant District Attorney Joe O’Connor, on the afternoon of Nov. 16, 2012, Alan Smith, 45, of Dixfield, was directing traffic at a road construction site on Route 2 in Mexico, near the Dixfield town line.

Smith was holding the “stop” side of his sign toward eastbound traffic and Tremblay’s 2009 Dodge pickup truck was the first vehicle in line, O’Connor said.  

According to O’Connor, the truck suddenly accelerated, striking Smith with its bumper and pulling him underneath the truck. Smith was crushed by front and rear tires, dragged across the road and over the curb, and pinned underneath the truck. The truck struck a guy wire on a utility pole and stopped.

O’Connor said Tremblay put the truck into four wheel drive and attempted to back up. Other workers at the scene stopped him. 

According to O’Connor, Tremblay told police at the scene he had a coughing spell that caused him to “black out” immediately before the crash. Tremblay told police he had a history of coughing fits.  

Tremblay said he has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a lung condition that causes severe coughing fits. His attorney told O’Connor that Tremblay will inform the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles about his condition.

About two hours after the crash, Tremblay was given a test at Rumford Hospital that showed his blood alcohol content was 0.06, and Tremblay told police he drank five beers the night before, O’Connor said. He noted that although Tremblay had a history of traffic violations, his driving record was clean since the early 1990s.

Smith, speaking from a wheelchair, told the court about the bodily injuries he suffered as a result of the crash. 

He said he had 12 broken ribs, a broken sternum, 10 broken vertebra and a shattered back wall of his pelvis. Steel rods were implanted in both of legs and he suffered severe nerve damage. Scars from the accident covered his body, he told the court. He was in an induced coma for five weeks following the crash, he said. 

“Most of the doctors told me I should not have survived,” Smith told the court.

He expected to go through two-and-a-half more years of physical therapy but told the court he did not expect to be able to return to work. 

When asked by Justice Robert Clifford if he was all right with the sentence for Tremblay suggested by the prosecution, Smith said he was.

“I’m not out for blood,” he said. “There’s a lot of things he’s done. That’s why I wanted to address the court, so he knows what he put me through.”

Tremblay declined an opportunity to speak to the court. His jail sentence was stayed until Feb. 6.


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