Ron Hewett examines the truck he was driving Wednesday that was struck by a large tree in Readfield. Hewett narrowly avoided injury when the pine dropped in high wind gusts and landed on the hood of his pickup as he was driving on Route 41. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy Buy this Photo

READFIELD — A Fayette man is lucky to be alive after a tree fell on his truck while he was driving on Route 41 on Wednesday.

Ron Hewett said he was driving along Route 41 near the town boat landing when the tree fell on the hood of his car. He said his truck is totaled, but he was not injured in the accident.

“I’m glad I (am) alive,” Hewett said. “It could have been much worse.”

Readfield Fire Chief Lee Mank said the pine tree was about 45-feet long and 2.5 feet in diameter. He said the impact made the vehicle’s airbags deploy.

“It’s one of those things, a second either way, it would’ve (taken) it into the windshield,” Mank said. “It glanced off and he pulled off to the side.”

He said that the area of Route 41 is a 45-mile-per-hour speed zone.

Mank said windy conditions were a contributing factor in this call, along with a few other calls for downed tree limbs and power outages Wednesday.

Hewett, a former Fayette firefighter, said he had seen trees come down before, but never on a moving vehicle. Mank said he had a similar incident happen about 10 years ago on Gordon Road.

Readfield Fire Chief Lee Mank cuts a large pine tree that fell across Route 41 on Wednesday in Readfield, striking a truck operated by Ron Hewett, right. Hewett narrowly avoided injury when the pine dropped in high wind gusts and landed on the hood of his pickup. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy Buy this Photo


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