Wednesday, December 11, 2013
By Doug Harlow email@example.com
SKOWHEGAN — An Oakland man was killed Monday morning when his fully loaded logging truck rolled over him and crashed into the Pizza Hut about five minutes before it was scheduled to open for the day.
AFTERMATH: Firefighters, state police and Skowhegan Police Chief Ted Blais, second from left, investigate the scene where a truck loaded with wood crashed into the Pizza Hut restaurant in Skowhegan on Monday.
Staff photo by David Leaming
BUILDING CRASH: Police and firefighters survey the scene where Michael Morin was killed after his truck loaded with wood rolled over him and crashed into the Pizza Hut restaurant in Skowhegan on Monday.
Staff photo by David Leaming
The accident that killed Michael Morin, 60, owner of Mike Morin Tree Length Firewood, including how the truck started moving after Morin got out of it, is under investigation by the state police motor vehicle unit.
Damon Ward, the morning cook who opened the restaurant Monday, said he arrived for work about 8:30 a.m. to get ready for the day.
“Five minutes before we opened — it was about 10:55 this morning — I heard a crash, went up front to check and the truck was through my front door,” Ward said. “The driver was underneath the truck. He was out of his truck. I heard the driver call out, saying ‘I need help’. So I ran to go help.”
Ward, of Madison, said he took off his apron and jacket to place under Morin’s head to make sure Morin’s head was level and told his fellow employees to call 911.
Skowehgan Police Chief Ted Blais said the 30-foot-long logging truck with dozens of logs appeared to have been parked two rows from the front of the building and Morin left the truck to go into the restaurant for lunch.
The truck rolled, the right front wheel running over Morin, before it crashed into the main entrance of the restaurant, Blais said.
There were no customers in the restaurant at the time.
“He shuts the truck off, gets out, walks toward the building to have lunch and then his truck hits him and crashes right into the building,” Blais said. “The truck went right into the building.”
Blais said Morin was taken by ambulance to Redington-Fairview General Hospital where he was pronounced dead. A LifeFlight helicopter from Lewiston was called and then turned back.
The windshield and exterior upper casing of the truck’s cab was crushed inward, separating the cab from the engine compartment.
The front entrance to the restaurant was heavily damaged, bricks and shattered glass littering the parking lot and take-out area of the building. The trademark red roof of Pizza Hut also was damaged from the impact.
“If anybody would have been standing there to pick something up, they would have gotten hit by that truck,” he said. “There was just enough of that hill and the weight of the vehicle was a lot of force.”
Blais said Morin was not married and has no children. His closest family member, a brother, was notified and arrived shortly after the accident.Doug Harlow — firstname.lastname@example.org