BANGOR – The chief of the Maine State Police released more details about their investigation into the April accident that killed one of their own.
Col. John Cote said Friday the person who inspected the tractor trailer involved in the death of Det. Benjamin Campbell was suspended for six months.
“On March 7th, 2019, just less than a month before the incident the tractor and trailer involved were inspected at Timberland Trucking in Medway,” Cote said at a press conference at the Bangor MSP headquarters. “Our investigations would reveal that although new stickers were issued, the truck and trailer were not subjected to a full and thorough inspection.”
Cote said Timerland has a good track record with the state and has conducted inspections for decades.
“The company simply received a warning,” Cote said. “The inspection technician, however, failed to do a thorough and full proper inspection and as a result the inspection license for technician Maurice Gray was suspended for six months.”
Detective Campbell saw a driver who had spun out on interstate 95 in Hampden on April 3 and he stopped to help.
While standing on the side of the snow-covered roadway, a logging truck from Patten passed and two of its tires broke off.
“Detective Campbell’s position is represented here,” Cote said pointing to a diagram of the scene. “He’s on the off-traffic side, which our training and experience would show is the safest place for our people to be.”
“The outside tire comes just to the right of his SUV … that tire continues and strikes Detective Campbell inflicting mortal injuries,” the Maine State Police chief added later.
Campbell died a short time later at a local hospital, the first Maine State Police officer to die in the line of duty since 1997.
The Penobscot County District Attorney’s office will decide if anyone will be charged.
“We’re still reviewing that case,” District Attorney Marianne Lynch said Friday.
Cote said Campbell’s family and his department are still grieving the detective’s death.
“He still is deeply missed every day,” Cote said.