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Extensive damage to store

One dead after truck slams into Swan Lake Grocery

By Fran Gonzalez | Oct 07, 2020
Photo by: Fran Gonzalez Swan Lake Grocery store the morning of Oct. 7. A truck crashed into the building the night of Oct. 6, claiming the life of the driver, a New York man.

Swanville — A single-vehicle crash late on the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 6, has claimed the life of a New York man.

The Waldo County Sheriff's office said Andrew McHugh, 23, of South Bethlehem, New York, died as a result of his injuries sustained in the crash.

At approximately 11:50 p.m. Waldo County Communications Center received a report of a single-vehicle crash on Route 141 in Swanville. McHugh's vehicle was traveling north when it left the roadway and struck Swan Lake Grocery Store.

A caller reported the vehicle was on fire and they were unable to remove the operator from the truck.

Once on the scene, deputies determined McHugh, the driver and sole occupant, had died.

According to police, the crash and resulting explosion caused extensive fire, water and smoke damage to the Swan Lake Grocery building. Initial evidence at the scene indicated that speed was a primary factor in the crash.

Debra Newcomb, who owns Swan Lake Grocery with her husband, Robert, said Oct. 7 that all the tenants in the apartment above the store got out and were "safe and sound." The driver, she said, came around the corner, missed the curve and hit part of the building, causing an explosion. Newcomb said the building is insured and she hopes to rebuild.

Swanville resident David Moore said the store is "kind of the heart of the community," and added the town is behind the Newcombs all the way. "They have contributed a lot to the community," he said, "and the town appreciates them."

Deputies Josh Staples, Brandon Curtis and Lucas Potts responded to the scene, along with several fire departments, including Belfast, Searsport, Frankfort and Monroe.

The investigation is ongoing.

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