PERU — Police said a Lisbon man escaped injury when he fell asleep and his truck struck gravestones and a monument in Demeritt Cemetery beside Route 108 on Friday.

Ronald Roy, 68, told police he fell asleep, Oxford County Deputy Sheriff William Nelson said on scene.

The accident happened shortly before 4 p.m. Med-Care Ambulance and Peru firefighters were initial responders.

Nelson said Roy’s 2014 Chevy Silverado pickup truck traveled 100 yards across the road through oncoming traffic and 100 feet off the road before he hit the brakes. The truck jumped the cemetery curb, narrowly missed a large clump of trees and traveled through the cemetery before stopping, Dixfield police Sgt. Jeff Howe said.

The cemetery lawn was littered with mail and mailboxes that the truck had hit before plowing into the cemetery. The truck drove over a World War II veteran’s gravestone and that of his wife and over a second WWII veteran’s grave marker and bent an American Legion flag holder.

The truck struck a large grave monument, ripping it off its base and depositing it upside down in a gouged-out hole a plot away.


Plastic floral arrangements were scattered along the ground, along with legion flags from veterans’ graves.

Roy was checked for injuries by a Med-Care crew and released.

“This is the third crash I’ve had at this cemetery,” Nelson said.

A Peru resident said it was the third accident in five years at Demeritt Cemetery.

Nelson estimated damage to the Silverado at $6,000 to $7,000 but didn’t have an estimate for cemetery damage.

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