A crash on Minot Avenue in Auburn Thursday night left a man and child injured. Michael Parent photo

AUBURN — A 3-year-old boy was taken to a Portland hospital with serious injuries Thursday night after a pickup truck crashed next to the Central Fire Station on Minot Avenue.

Police said a Ford Ranger driven by Adam Doherty, 37, of Rockland left the roadway and crashed into a tree about 5:15 p.m.

A woman who lives across the street ran to the crash scene, a witness said, and comforted the victims while waiting for emergency crews to arrive.

“I opened the truck door, saw the baby and my heart sunk,” Kim Dupuis said. “I gently touched his back and he flopped back around into his car seat and started crying. He squeezed my finger so hard it was all I could do not to pick up that poor little boy, but I knew not to move him. So for about 15 minutes, that baby squeezed my finger while I tried to keep his dad conscious, asking his name and his baby’s name. I am so heartbroken and praying for that little baby boy.”

Dupuis said the driver was bloody but conscious and complaining that he couldn’t breath as she was talking to him.

Doherty had been headed west when he crashed, police said. He sustained injuries not considered life-threatening, police said.

Hours after the crash, police remained at the scene reconstructing the accident.

According to Auburn Police Chief Deputy Tim Cougle, the child was taken first to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston before being flown by LifeFlight to Maine Medical Center in Portland.

The child’s injuries were considered life-threatening, police said.

Auburn police were being assisted by the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office in reconstructing the crash site as part of the investigation. Police said a child safety seat was found inside the truck, but they were still investigating to determine if the child had been properly buckled in.

At the time of the wreck, police had also been dealing with a multi-vehicle crash on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge near Center Street. Injuries were reported in that collision as well, but none were considered life-threatening.

In the bridge crash, witnesses reported that at least three vehicles were involved.

Both crashes were still being investigated.

A fundraiser has been launched to help the mother of the 3-year-old care for the boy.

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