GARDINER — A commercial flatbed truck loaded with 50 beehives overturned Monday night after striking a car that apparently veered in front of it on River Avenue, releasing many of the bees that then buzzed around the crash scene.

A commercial truck hauling beehives lays on its side Monday night following a crash in Gardiner. Photo courtesy of Gardiner Police

The beekeeper and truck driver, Piotr Kucharski, 40, of Sidney, unloaded some of the hives from the truck following the crash in hopes the bees upset by the commotion and flying about would return to the hives. Police said the hives, left roadside around 530 River Ave. in Gardiner, would likely be picked up Tuesday.

“There were bees everywhere; they were obviously upset after (the truck) overturned,” said Gardiner police Sgt. Normand Gove.

About 50 hives were strapped onto the flatbed truck, which was also towing a trailer with a skid-steer on it. Some of the hives remained in place, but some fell or were damaged in the crash.

The crash was reported shortly after 6 p.m. Monday.

Gove said the commercial truck was traveling north on River Avenue when a southbound car, driven by Vadim Albert, 25, of Farmingdale, crossed over the centerline and was struck by the truck, causing the trailer to jackknife and the truck to roll over.

Albert was taken by ambulance to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta with facial injuries.

Gove said Albert was summoned on charges of operating under the influence and operating in violation of a conditional license, with blood test results taken after the crash pending.

Gove, who has previously kept bees himself, said he wasn’t stung and wasn’t bothered by the bees, although some were flying around inside his cruiser with him and the tow truck driver did get stung.

 

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