CMP pole explodes after being struck by tractor trailer in Belfast

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 7:15pm

    BELFAST — A telephone pole exploded after being struck by an out-of-control tractor-trailer in Belfast Jan. 16, according to Belfast Police Sergeant Detective Matthew Cook. 

    The crash, which occurred around 11:30 a.m. on Route 3 near the Curling Club, was called in by passersby who witnessed the incident, Cook said. 

    The tractor-trailer was westbound hauling a load of salt and was reportedly traveling too fast for the snowy and icy weather and road conditions when it appears one of the tires on the back end the trailer dipped into the ditch, leading the vehicle to flip over three times. During this time, the vehicle “took out” two telephone poles, according to Cook.

    Cook said the operator of the truck made it out of the vehicle on his own and was standing on the roadside when law enforcement arrived, along with a firefighter who happened to be driving by the scene. The driver, Nicholas Woodward, 23, of Dexter, was wearing his seatbelt during the crash and was not thrown from the vehicle. 

    “I don’t know how he made it out alive,” Cook said, noting that the vehicle was “mangled.” 

    Though both impacted telephone poles were cut in half during the crash, only one of the poles exploded while officers were standing a safe distance away, Cook said.

    Police were at the scene for much of the day, with CMP traveling to cool down the wires and replace the poles that had been destroyed. The telephone company was next to respond to repair the lines, followed by specialized tow trucks based out of Newport that were called to the scene.

    While Route 3 was initially closed down following the crash, there was a single lane opened soon after, with CMP flaggers ensuring the safety of workers and drivers. The scene was cleared around 3:30 p.m., Cook said. 

    Erica Thoms can be reached at