HALLOWELL — Part of U.S. Route 201 was closed for an hour Tuesday morning after a truck overturned near the city’s public works facility.

Hallowell and Maine State Police responded to the accident about 9:15 a.m. and found a vehicle on its side in the road.

“The bucket truck was northbound on (Route) 201 when it lost its rear axle,” Hallowell police Sgt. Jordan Gaudet said. “Once the axle came loose, the truck rolled onto its side.”

It was a Chickadee Tree Service vehicle operated by owner George Gray, 66, of Farmingdale. Gaudet told the Kennebec Journal around 2 p.m. that Gray was charged with operating a defective motor vehicle.

Gaudet said the rear axle of the truck came off when the truck flipped and traveled to the southbound lane and came to a rest outside of the travel lane without hitting another vehicle. He added that this accident “was avoidable.”

Isaiah Hooper was in traffic behind the truck when the accident took place.

“The vehicle had something in the middle of it — I’m assuming it’s something to stop the vehicle — and it kept falling down and clicking on the road,” he said. “Eventually it just stopped and locked right into place, and as it did the entire vehicle just hit the tar, grabbed and flipped 180 degrees right over.

“The parts were flying to the left side of the road and the right side of the road,” Hooper added.

Gray suffered minor injuries and was transported to a hospital by Augusta Fire & Rescue, Gaudet said, while a passenger in the vehicle was not injured.

Maine State Police personnel were helped in the investigation, undertaking a full inspection of the vehicle.

 

Staff photographer Andy Molloy contributed to this report.


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