Friday, December 6, 2013
By Doug Harlow firstname.lastname@example.org
SKOWHEGAN — An Oakland truck driver who was killed Monday when his loaded logging truck rolled over him before crashing into a restaurant had left his truck in neutral gear with the parking brake off, police said Tuesday.
MAN’S BEST FRIEND: A photo of truck driver Mike Morin’s Pomeranian dog, Javis, is on the side of his truck. Morin was killed Monday morning when the truck rolled over him before crashing into the Pizza Hut restaurant in Skowhegan.
Staff photo by David Leaming
Michael Morin, 59, had parked his 60,000-pound truck in the Pizza Hut parking lot and went to have lunch about 10:55 a.m. just minutes before the restaurant opened for the day. The truck rolled, striking Morin before crashing into the building, heavily damaging the entrance and take-out area.
No one else was hurt.
A Maine State Police driver and vehicle examination report showed the brakes and other operations of the commercial vehicle had been up to standard with no violations other than an underinflated tire on the truck’s second axle, according to the report.
Police said that when they went to move the truck, they found the key outside the vehicle and the parking brakes off.
The wrecker driver who assisted in moving the heavy truck told police that the truck was in neutral, according to the report’s officer notes, which are not signed.
The truck has an automatic transmission and the brakes otherwise appeared to be functioning properly, according to the officer notes. The official report was prepared by Trooper Mark Barney after the police investigation.
The state police reports were released to Skowhegan police Chief Ted Blais, who, in turn, released the reports’ contents Tuesday.
A 2-year-old Pomeranian dog that was with Morin in the truck was not injured and was taken in by a former hunting and fishing companion, said Morin’s brother, Francis Morin, of Fairfield.
Francis Morin, 63, said an emergency medical technician who responded to the accident Monday took the dog, Javis, from the wreckage and held it until the hunting buddy could be found.
Francis Morin said his brother and the little dog were constant companions. He said his brother liked the dog so much he had the canine’s likeness painted on the side doors of his logging truck.
Ann Young, of Oakland, said Mike Morin delivered a load of wood to her house about a month ago. She said Javis, the little Pomeranian, was by Morin’s side.
“He told us that little dog went with him everyplace,” Young said by phone Tuesday. “They were hardly ever separated from one another. It was obvious that that dog was used to riding in that truck with him. You can tell there was quite an attachment. He had that dog’s face painted on his truck.”
Francis Morin said the brothers’ father is dead and their mother is in a nursing home.
He said he is the one who will have to make all the funeral arraignments.
He said his brother has a daughter who left the area some time ago.
Michelle Abare, of York, S.C., in an email to the Morning Sentinel, said she is the biological daughter and sole heir to Michael Morin’s estate. She has hired an attorney in Maine, she said.
“Mike was a good man,” Francis said. “He loved to cut wood and he loved to haul wood and he loved to work with people in the woods. He was a true woodsman, a true lumberman.”
Doug Harlow — email@example.com