FARMINGTON — A man who failed to stop and help a Chesterville man on a tricycle after hitting the man with his truck was sentenced Thursday to four months in jail.

Nathanael Q. McHugh, 32, also lost his driver’s license for 360 days and was fined $1,000 in Franklin County Superior Court.

McHugh pleaded guilty Feb. 14 to failing to stop and render aid, failing to make an accident report and driving to endanger on Sept. 23, 2017, when he hit David Tilton’s tricycle and cart and ran over Tilton’s foot, crushing it, on Zion Hill Road in Chesterville.

Nathanael McHugh Franklin County Detention Center

The tricycle and trailer were dragged down the road with the tricycle ending up in the woods significantly farther up the road, Deputy District Attorney James Andrews said. The cart was well-marked with an orange triangle placard on the back. A photo of the scene showed Tilton’s left boot and helmet next to the cart.

“This was a hair’s breadth away from being a fatal accident,” Andrews said.

People in Chesterville and neighbors pitched in and bought Tilton a new trike and trailer, he said.

Nathanael McHugh was sentenced to four months on Thursday for failing to stop and render aid to a Chesterville man after striking his tricycle and cart and running over his foot in 2017 in Chesterville. Sun Journal file photo

A witness traveling behind McHugh’s truck said the truck was going fast for the road and did not brake or slow down when Tilton was thrown off to side of the road, Andrews said.

He said Maine State Police found a light assembly at the scene and determined what type of truck it was.

McHugh was told by neighbors and his father that police were looking for the truck. McHugh secreted his truck in Oxford County for about two months, Andrews said.

McHugh’s attorney, Daniel Timm, said that McHugh, formerly known as Nathanael Couture, is a U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran who did two tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It is common knowledge that veterans face unique challenges, Timm said.

McHugh took full responsibility for his conduct, waived a trial and pleaded guilty, Timm said. He asked for a suspended sentence to allow McHugh to continue to support his four children.

“Nate has been a help to people in the community,” Timm said, and read a letter from a woman who described the help McHugh gave to her family. Timm also showed a certificate from a disabled veterans organization that McHugh received for alerting police to a veteran who was suicidal. He said that McHugh received an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps and received two Bronze Star medals.

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