Police say an 87-year-old Searsport driver is lucky to be alive after an accident that took place on the Veterans’ Memorial Bridge Jan. 12.

Margaret Vose reportedly ran the stop sign at the end of the High Street ramp at about 11:35 a.m. and struck the rear of a tractor-trailer truck as it was headed across the bridge at about 40 mph.

Belfast Patrolman Howard Dakin said Vose, who was operating a 2001 Dodge van, was not wearing her seatbelt at the time of the crash. Dakin said the fact that she was not buckled in might have saved her life, because when she struck the 1993 Peterbuilt that was being operated by 55-year-old Danny R. Worster of Hartland, the impact smashed in the driver’s side door of Vose’s van. When Dakin arrived on the scene, he learned that the impact had knocked Vose out of the driver’s seat and over to the passenger’s side.

“If she [had] had her seatbelt on [the impact] would have killed her,” said Dakin.

Dakin said when Worster was approaching the ramp, he could see that Vose was not stopping and he began to drop gears in an attempt to slow down.

Vose’s van reportedly struck the truck in its rear and became stuck beneath the truck, which resulted in Vose’s van being dragged for about 30 feet before the truck came to rest against the guardrail.

Belfast Ambulance and Rescue transported Vose to Waldo County General Hospital, where she was treated for a bump on her head. Vose was released later that same day.

Dakin deemed Vose’s van a total loss, and the Peterbuilt sustained about $800 in damage to one of its tires and rims.

Traffic was interrupted on the bridge for about 20 minutes while police and emergency crews cleared the scene.