WATERVILLE — Police are looking for the driver of a tractor trailer that ripped down a communications cable Tuesday behind Dunkin Donuts off College Avenue, causing the cable to slacken and hang so low a trash truck traveling south on the avenue got caught up in the cable, ripping it in two.

The cable incident occurred around 11:40 a.m., causing police, fire officials and Central Maine Power Co. crews to head to the scene between the U.S. Postal Service office on the east side of College Avenue and College Place, an office building at 32 College Ave. on the west side.

Police closed the avenue off in both directions from Getchell Street to around where the police station sits off Colby Street as fire and CMP officials worked to clear the cables, which were frayed and torn.

Waterville police Sgt. Alden Weigelt and police Officer Ryan Dinsmore, who is investigating the incident, said witnesses reported the tractor trailer with an orange cab and multi-colored trailer was exiting a parking lot behind the End Zone and was passing the entrance to the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru when it struck a cable running between two utility poles there. The driver of the tractor trailer kept going, turning left on a short roadway just south of Railroad Square Plaza and then turning right on Main Street. Police are not sure if the driver knows his tractor trailer struck the cable.

“At this time, we’re still searching for the truck,” Weigelt said at the scene.

The truck may have been last seen on Armory Road, heading toward Fairfield, according to police.

Meanwhile, the cable that was struck ran along poles that led to and across College Avenue, where the driver of a Waste Management trash truck traveling south on College Avenue toward downtown got caught up in the black cable, which ripped and frayed. At the scene, workers had to untangle the mass of black cable which was wound in and around the hydraulic lift mechanism on the right front of the trash truck.

“He came through the wire high enough that he didn’t see it hanging, and he took the rest of them down,” Weigelt said of that truck.

The only known building that lost power because of the incident was Dunkin Donuts, and officials were not yet sure if any telephone or cable service was disrupted, according to Weigelt.

Pedestrians in the area stopped to watch the goings-on, as people entered and left the post office and College Place across the avenue.

Weigelt issued a warning to people never to touch wires, no matter the circumstance.

“Even if you know it’s a cable or telephone wire, don’t touch it because it could be energized if it makes contact with another power source on a pole or somewhere else,” he said.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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