Pittston residents on Tuesday were mourning the loss of a longtime fair volunteer and firefighter after he was struck by a car and killed while crossing the road near his home.

Lewis “Duddy” Brown, 83, died at the scene of the accident, Kennebec County Interim Sheriff Ryan Reardon said.

Sonya Marsh-Rocque, 61, of Pittston, who was driving the 2002 Hyundai sedan that hit Brown, was not hurt.

The crash occurred around 5 p.m. as Brown, who was clad in dark clothing, went to check the mailbox outside his Route 194 home. Reardon said it was dark at the time of the crash, and there were no streetlights in the area.

Marsh-Rocque was taken to the hospital and a blood kit was drawn. Reardon said that is the procedure whenever there is a fatal accident.

“Based on the analysis of the scene, neither speed nor impairment were factors,” Reardon said in a news release sent Tuesday morning. “The lighting conditions and other factors appear to have contributed to the accident.”


A nurse stopped to render aid and perform CPR on Brown, who was in the road when rescue units arrived. Brown did not regain consciousness and was pronounced dead at the scene by Gardiner Rescue. Maine State Police reconstructed the accident.

“We are saddened and our condolences go out to Brown’s family,” Reardon said. “This appears to be an unfortunate and tragic accident.”

Friends on Tuesday described the 6-foot-plus Brown as a gentle, community-minded man with a tough exterior.

“Duddy was a very nice man,” said Hope Ricker, who worked with him on the Pittston Fair. “He tried to put across a gruff personality, but he was a very nice man.”

Brown’s wife of 57 years, Juniata “June” Brown, died two years ago. The couple has two sons, according to her obituary. Lewis Brown Jr. and his wife, Bonnie, live in Monmouth. Frank Brown and his wife, Deborah, live in Pittston. The Browns have a number of grandchildren.

Brown, who retired from Central Maine Power Co., had volunteered at the Pittston Fair since the 1950s, most recently spending much of the summer mowing the fairgrounds grass.


“He kept a lot of pride in keeping the grass mowed,” said Peter Weeks, vice president of the Pittston Fair. “He’s always been there. He’s always been involved with the Fire Department and the fair.”

Pittston Fire Chief Jason Farris, one of the first to arrive at Monday’s crash, said Brown served with the department from 1962 to 2013, including a stint as chief from 1985 to 1991.

“He was a wealth of knowledge,” Farris said. “He probably knew as much about fire pumps as anybody I knew.”

Farris said Brown was one of the firefighters he would pair with new volunteers to help them learn to work the pumps.

“I’d always be grateful when I looked up on the pump panel and saw Duddy there,” Farris said. “I knew I didn’t have to worry about what was going on.”

Brown volunteered for the department until two years ago, when he was about 81.


“He was active right to the very end,” Farris said. “He showed up to a lot of calls, a lot of trainings. You just assumed he was going to be there.”

Farris has arranged a critical stress debriefing for his firefighters and the four Gardiner firefighters who went to Monday’s accident scene. Brown is the third Pittston firefighter to die this year, Farris said.

“It’s been a rough year for the guys,” he said. “It’s always rough when you go to a call and it’s one of your own.”

Brown was given special recognition for his volunteer hours at last month’s Pittston Fair banquet.

“I’m really glad we gave it to him this year,” Ricker said. “He was very pleased.”

Weeks said Brown wanted to know at the banquet what he could do to help get the fairgrounds ready for winter.

“He was always concerned about that stuff,” Weeks said. “He’d come across as a tough guy, and then he’d help you do whatever you wanted. If anyone needed him, they would come out to find him.”

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