AUGUSTA — A Skowhegan man escaped injury Tuesday morning after he accidentally smashed a tractor-trailer into the locally notorious “Can Opener” train overpass on Water Street downtown.

Augusta police reported that the truck hit the old train trestle about 8:30 a.m. Officers directed traffic on the street, which was reduced to one lane near the trestle for about an hour. Police said on social media posts at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday that Water Street was restored to being fully open in both directions after the accident.

The truck driver, Randall Doak, 23, of Skowhegan, was not injured, police said in a news release.

The white trailer sustained heavy damage to its entire length, but it was not stuck under the bridge. The truck had been traveling north on Water Street, and Doak had not seen the height warning signs and was unfamiliar with the area, police said. Clearance under the train trestle is 12 feet, 10 inches. Trucks often fail to clear the trestle.

The Maine State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division also went to the scene to assist and inspect the tractor-trailer.

Despite numerous signs warning drivers of the low clearance, the Water Street trestle has taken its toll on a number of big trucks whose drivers have tried to pass under it. After a series of tractor-trailer trucks got stuck at the trestle in 2012, City Engineer Lionel Cayer said he and other officials called the trestle “the Can Opener.”


“It’s a reoccurring problem for us,” he said at the time.

Each accident can entail thousands of dollars in expense and hours of disrupted traffic, officials have said.

Keith Edwards – 621-5647

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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