MOSCOW — Five people, including a baby, were taken to the hospital Thursday after a logging truck flipped over, hitting a sport utility vehicle with its load on U.S. Route 201.

The accident happened at about 3:30 p.m. when the southbound tractor-trailer, belonging to C.M. Gray Trucking out of Milo, blew a left tire and the driver lost control on a stretch of Route 201 — Canada Road where it goes through northern Somerset County. The tree-length logs spilled onto the northbound SUV, according to Chief Deputy Dale Lancaster of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department.

The driver of the 2011 Lexus SUV, a man, along with two women and an infant who were passengers, were trapped inside and had to be extricated, he said. The women, infant, one of the other SUV passengers and the driver of the tractor-trailer were taken by ambulance to Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan. The driver of the SUV was taken by helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor

Names were not available Thursday night, but Lancaster said none of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening. The SUV was destroyed in the crash, he said.

It took rescue crews almost two hours to remove the driver of the SUV.

The accident remains under investigation and it is not clear yet whether there will be charges, said Lancaster.

Paula Foster, who lives near the accident scene, at 655 Canada Road, said she felt her house shake and heard what sounded like a loud explosion. She went outside with her neighbor, Darcey Crossman, and called 911.

“I saw a truck across the road and immediately called 911,” said Foster. “Then I came back outside and thought I saw another vehicle. Sure enough there was.”

All the occupants of the car were conscious and able to talk when firefighters arrived on scene, said Bingham Fire Chief Scott Lawyerson.

Foster said there have been a lot of accidents on the stretch of highway, marked by its many hills and steep, windy turns. The accident took place near Foster Camps, in a spot where there is almost no shoulder and visibility is low. The speed limit drops from 50 to 35 mph as vehicles approach the S-curves, which often taking drivers by surprise.

Maine State Police, the Jackman Fire Department and several emergency medical personnel also responded to the scene.

Route 201 has been the scene of several logging truck accidents over recent years, the most serious one in Jackman in July 2011, when a truck crashed into a house in Jackman, killing a 5-year-old boy.

More recently, a truck rolled on Route 201 in Skowhegan in November 2012, spilling its load and closing the highway for 10 hours. No one was injured in that crash.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

 


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