January 9

Maine town in pain after ‘awesome kid’ shot on roadside

Residents of Poland remember Tim Davison, killed on a Pennsylvania highway, as a skilled mechanic and fun-loving guy who drew people to him.

By Eric Russell erussell@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

POLAND — Tom Printup last saw Tim Davison on Halloween night.

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Tim Davison

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Poland Fire and Rescue Department Capt. Tom Printup says he was shocked when he learned his classmate and friend had been killed.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

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The two were high school classmates and friends and hadn’t crossed paths in months. That night, they ran into each other at a local bar and chatted for close to an hour.

“He was always someone who attracted people to him. Even if he was having a bad day, no one would ever have known,” said Printup, a captain in the Poland Fire and Rescue Department. “That’s just the type of guy he was.”

When Printup learned that Davison had been shot and killed Saturday in a random act of violence on a rural stretch of highway in Pennsylvania, his first emotion was utter shock. How could something like that happen, seemingly unprovoked?

“The worst part, though, was just picturing him having to go through that all by himself,” said Printup. “No one deserves that.”

Davison, 28, was driving north on Interstate 81 near the Pennsylvania-Maryland border before dawn Saturday when he called 911 twice to report that he was being chased and shot at by someone in a dark-colored pickup truck. A few minutes later, the pickup’s driver ran Davison off the road and someone in the truck shot him multiple times, including in the head.

Pennsylvania authorities say they believe Davison was killed by someone who could strike again, and are investigating any connection between his killing and a shooting eight hours earlier about 60 miles away in Monaghan Township, Pa. The victim in that incident, who was not injured, told police that the driver of a black Nissan pickup truck fired at him several times.

Many residents in Poland, the rural town in southwestern Androscoggin County where Davison grew up and was known simply as “Asti” (pronounced Aw-stee), share Printup’s disbelief that one of their own could be taken in such a callous way.

Nick Colby knew Davison for as long as he could remember, probably all the way back to their days playing T-ball. In school, they played sports together. As young adults, they shared an apartment in Auburn. Colby said he has plenty of stories about his friend but a lot of them are “not fit for publication.”

“He was the kind of guy where doing nothing with him was entertaining, you know,” he said.

Colby heard about Davison’s death Sunday morning from a mutual friend. “You read about these things all the time but you never think it can happen inside your own bubble,” he said.

Even people in Poland who didn’t know Davison well are talking about his death this week. Poland, like many small towns in Maine, is the sort of place where everyone knows everyone. If they didn’t know Davison personally, they know his family.

Angie Taylor, principal of the local elementary school, taught Davison at Poland Regional High School in the early part of the last decade and remembers him fondly from among the hundreds of students who have passed through.

“He was in the first class I ever taught,” Taylor said Tuesday from her office at the Elm Street School in neighboring Mechanic Falls. “Such a nice kid.”

Taylor remembers Davison’s “moment” in high school: He had been working on a senior project for the whole year and was ready to present it. He had rebuilt his pickup truck and installed pneumatic lifts that he gleefully showed off to classmates by making the truck “bounce” outside the school.

“I remember thinking, ‘He’s going to be OK,’ ” Taylor said.

NATURAL MECHANIC, LOVED OUTDOORS

It was Davison’s love and aptitude for mechanics that drove him throughout his life after high school. He went to work for his father, also named Tim Davison, at Engineered Construction Services in Raymond, working as a pipe fitter and commercial welder who also supervised crews.

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