RICHMOND — Two people were injured in a collision of two pickup trucks Wednesday afternoon on U.S. Route 201 that involved a dramatic rescue of a driver from a vehicle in flames.

Rescue workers extricate the driver of a pickup truck that collided with another pickup Wednesday on U.S. Route 201 in Richmond. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

Timothy Sinclair, 76, of Topsham, was driving a 2014 GMC 1500 pickup truck south on U.S. 201, when a Dodge pickup truck driven in the northbound by Daniel Burditt, 36, of Gardiner veered into the southbound lane, according to Scott MacMaster, Richmond’s police chief.

“They made contact, basically head-on,” said MacMaster. “It was a driver’s-side type of accident.”

The crash occurred around 2:15 p.m. within 100 yards of the Knight’s Farm Supply store.

Both Sinclair and Burditt were taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston by Gardiner Ambulance Service with injuries that were not considered life-threatening. MacMaster said Sinclair had general complaints of superficial cuts, while Burditt indicated lower back, and left leg and hip pain.

Three people helped get the driver out of the southbound vehicle and dragged him safely to the side of the road.

“The operator was unable to get out and was pulled out of the vehicle by some people who were in their homes and a witness,” MacMaster said. “Within 20 seconds or so of them pulling him out, the vehicle was completely in flames.”

Lawrence Foster and Pamela Bois talk Wednesday after helping rescue the driver of a pickup truck moments before it exploded into flames after a collision on U.S. Route 201 in Richmond. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

Lawrence Foster, 30, of Richmond, said he was inside his U.S. 201 home when he heard the crash and squealing tires.

“I told my oldest daughter to watch my youngest and went out to see if everybody was OK,” he said. “Originally, I couldn’t see how bad it was, until I got up to the truck.

“Then I saw he was slumped over, so I went over to his window and started yelling ‘fire, fire,'” Foster added. “I got the door open as far as I could and started trying to pull him out.”

Foster said two other people came up to help him, one of whom was Pamela Bois.

Bois, 55, is in the process of moving from Topsham to Richmond, and was in traffic behind the crash. She said she didn’t know if “too much was going through my head” when she got up to the truck.

“He (Foster) just kept saying ‘pull, pull, pull,’ so I just did what he said, to help him,” Bois said. “We dragged him across the road, and then dragged him a little farther to make sure we were out of the way if the truck exploded.”

Neither Foster nor Bois knew the name of the other man who helped them rescue the driver.

Foster said he wasn’t too concerned about his own safety, and just thought about how his father always has done what he can to help others.

“Honestly, I was focused on helping,” he said. “I just wanted to make sure we got him out.”

Asked if he was OK after helping, Foster said he was fine.

“Apart from a ruined pair of shorts, I’m fine,” he said, “and I don’t care about that.”

Asked why she helped at the scene, Bois said it was “obvious someone was hurt in the vehicle and needed help.”

“I have three boys and would want someone to help them,” she said, adding that she was a little shaken up, but otherwise OK. “I would not want to be the mom who gets the call about her son being in an accident like this.”

MacMaster said a LifeFlight helicopter initially was called for assistance, but medical assessment at the scene determined it was not needed.

Also at the scene were personnel from Gardiner Fire & Rescue, Richmond Fire and EMS, and the Bowdoinham and Bowdoin fire departments. The Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Department provided assistance with traffic control.

MacMaster said no charges are expected to be filed.

“At this point, it is still under investigation, but we don’t anticipate any (charges),” he said. “We had an accident reconstructionist who responded from the sheriff’s department but didn’t feel they were needed” because charges were not expected and the injuries were not life-threatening.

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