Maine State Police arrested a Canadian truck driver on a charge of aggravated driving to endanger after he illegally used the “authorized access” lane on Interstate 95, causing another motorist to crash and suffer life-threatening injuries.
Authorities said that Dario Dosen, 49, of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, was driving a tractor trailer on I-95 August 25 when he missed his exit in Hampden and attempted to make a U-turn onto the southbound lanes from the left northbound lane by using an access restricted to law enforcement and Department of Transportation vehicles.
Brian Richardson, 33, of Veazie, Maine, was forced to swerve around the semi to avoid a collision but lost control of his Chevrolet Trailblazer after striking a guardrail. Mr. Richardson was ejected from the vehicle as it rolled over.
Witnesses told state troopers investigating the collision that Mr. Richardson had been traveling a safe distance behind the tractor trailer before the accident.
Mr. Richardson suffered extensive injuries including a fractured spine, a broken wrist, and head trauma. He remains in a Bangor hospital in critical condition, paralyzed from the chest down.
Police say Mr. Dosen could face manslaughter charges if Mr. Richardson doesn’t survive.
According to the Bangor Daily News, Mr. Dosen was hauling watermelons when the crash occurred. The Truro (Nova Scotia) Daily News reported that Mr. Dosen, who was uninjured in the crash, was driving the tractor-trailer for a Charlottetown, PEI, company, Seafood Express.
Maine State Police Trooper Adam Gould told the Bangor Daily News that Mr. Dosen was driving in the U.S. on a work visa. “He allegedly told state police that he believed he was allowed to use the crossover road because he was permitted to do so while driving in Canada,” the Bangor Daily News reported.
Police also checked Mr. Dosen’s hours-of-service records and found that he had exceeded the maximum allowable driving hours for the day by 3.5 hours.
Mr. Dosen’s bail is set at $10,000. If he makes bail, he will be released on the condition that he surrender his passport and not leave the state of Maine.