Drunk driver summonsed after slamming into 10-4 store

By Fran Gonzalez | Oct 07, 2019
Photo by: Fran Gonzalez A truck rammed into the former 10-4 Store Oct. 4, after attempting to pass another vehicle on Route 3. The truck then sped away and was later located on Haystack Mountain Road in Montville.

Montville — A pickup truck attempting to pass a car on Route 3 late Friday afternoon lost control, went off the road and slammed into the former 10-4 Store.

According to the Waldo County Sheriff's Office, Steven Palmer, 61, of Montville, was driving the pickup, which also carried two passengers — Jed Johnson, 66, of Canterbury, Conn., and Louis Miller, 55, of Palermo.

At approximately 5:35 p.m. Oct. 4, police said, Palmer attempted to pass a vehicle driven by Mary Armstrong-Bowden, narrowly missing her car before crashing into the center of the building that now houses Maine Makers Society and a bottle redemption center. The impact left the building with a large hole in the wall facing Route 3.

Police said the pickup then fled the scene.

A witness reported seeing a late model blue Chevy pickup truck, with front-end damage and smoke pouring from the engine, drive by Peavey's General Store as the windshield shattered in the road.

Police were called a short time later to Haystack Mountain Road, where they found the truck. The three men were taken to Waldo County General Hospital by Liberty Ambulance, one with a possible broken leg and another with facial injuries.

Armstrong-Bowden said, "He came from behind me on the left, went in the ditch and flew past right in front of me, missing me by inches. Then he accelerated and drove straight into the building."

As Armstrong-Bowden was on the phone with 911, she said Palmer continued to rev the truck's engine, trying to free it from the building.

"I could see he was trying to leave, as we were in his direct path," she said. "I jumped back in the Jeep, still on the phone with dispatch, and drove a few feet down the road to Peavey’s store, and safety."

Kimba Cseh, owner of Maine Makers Society, said the crash "took out a big chunk of our walk-in cooler," along with a wooden flower container on the outside of the building.

The store was forced to closed down while an electrician makes repairs, she said.

Cseh said she is really glad everyone is OK and that it was good the store was closed for the week for vacation or there might have been more people there.

The Sheriff's Office charged Palmer with operating under the influence.

Liberty and Montville fire departments responded, as did Maine State Police.

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