AUGUSTA — Two people were injured and a truck was destroyed early Saturday when the westbound truck went off South Belfast Avenue, hit a tree and burned up, according to Augusta police.

The passenger in the truck, Nicole Freese, 18, of Manchester, suffered substantial injuries that were not considered life-threatening, Augusta police Sgt. Eric Lloyd said. The driver, Cade Ayotte, 21, of South China, was less injured but was charged with operating under the influence, he said.

Ayotte said he fell asleep at the wheel before the truck, a 1998 Chevrolet S-10 pickup, hit the tree, according to Lloyd.

Both occupants were treated at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta.

The accident occurred near the city’s Hatch Hill landfill. Police had to block South Belfast Avenue between Church Hill Road and Bolton Hill Road to enable Central Maine Power workers to remove the tree, which was endangering nearby power lines, Lloyd said.

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