RANGELEY — A propane truck crashed into a ditch, hit a utility pole and rolled onto its side Friday morning after sliding backwards down a hill on an ice-covered Overlook Road, police said.

Bryan Halwix, 52, of Strong, was driving the Blue Flame Gas Co. truck on the road that climbs a hill off Route 4 about 10:30 a.m., Rangeley police Officer John Bonnell said.

The wheels lost traction on the ice and the truck started sliding backward down the hill, toward the highway. To avoid skidding into traffic, Halwix intentionally swerved the truck into a ditch, and it struck the pole before rolling onto the passenger side, Bonnell said.

Halwix was unhurt and wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, which left the utility pole scraped but stable. No hazardous materials leaked from the propane-filled truck, which sustained minor damage and was driveable after being pulled out of the ditch, Bonnell said.

The Fire Department assisted, and Halwix was not ticketed.

In another weather-related crash, a pickup truck skidded off an icy driveway, rolled down a hill and smashed into the rear of the Red Onion restaurant on Main Street, Bonnell said.

Janice Thorp, 61, was pulling her Dodge Dakota into the driveway at her 25 High St. home around noon, he said.

“She went into her driveway and onto the ice, and despite everything she tried, that truck just kept going,” Bonnell said.

The truck rolled down the hill and dropped about 60 feet before ramming a garage attached to the rear of the restaurant, he said.

The truck’s front end was surprisingly undamaged in the crash, which caused minor structural damage to the garage, Bonnell said.

Thorp was unhurt and did not get ticketed. Freezing rain hit the region earlier in the morning and caused both crashes, he said.

David Robinson — 861-9287

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