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Wolfeboro public works employee struck by car

Union Leader Correspondent

December 05. 2017 1:33PM
A Wolfeboro town truck sits on a flatbed that's also ready to tow a Honda Accord that was involved in an accident Tuesday in which a public-works employee was injured. (BEA LEWIS/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT)

WOLFEBORO — A public works employee who was struck by a car while at a job site on Beach Pond Road Tuesday morning sustained multiple broken bones and remains hospitalized.

Wes Smallidge, a heavy equipment operator for the municipal department, was airlifted to Maine Medical Center in Portland after he was injured about 10:15 a.m., according to Public Works Director David Ford.

Wolfeboro Town Manager David Owen said work zone caution signs had been posted, the yellow emergency lights on the orange town pickup truck were flashing, and the worker was wearing a reflective safety vest when he was struck.

Wolfeboro Police Capt. Mark Livie would not release the name of the driver of the car, citing the pending investigation, but said no charges had been filed as of Tuesday.

Smallidge was working with three other public works employees who had been assigned to remove leaves from the roadside ditch line. Three workers had continued up Beach Pond to dump a load of leaves at the transfer station at the time the accident occurred and did not witness it.

Smallidge had been using a backpack-style leaf blower and was putting it into the back of the truck that was parked off the road, perpendicular to the travel lane, when he was struck by an early model silver Honda Accord sedan. The posted speed limit in the area is 30 mph.

Ford said it appears that Smallidge was standing at the passenger side rear corner of the truck when he was hit, and that his vehicle sustained some of the impact as it was spun clockwise by the force of the collision.

The car, driven by a woman in her mid-60s, also spun clockwise. The leaf blower ended up on the roof of the car. The windshield was caved inward, the air bag had deployed and there was heavy front-end damage.

A motorist driving behind the car that struck Smallidge witnessed the mishap and stopped to render aid to the injured man, and called 911.

Wolfeboro Fire Rescue responded to the crash scene north of the intersection of Trotting Track Road and rushed Smallidge to Huggins Hospital. Because poor weather conditions had grounded the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Advanced Rescue Team (DHART), a helicopter was dispatched from Sanford, Maine, according to Owen.

The message Ford would like to spread is that motorists need to slow down when they see work zone signs posted and give roadside workers, as well as police and emergency medical personnel, some space.

Accidents Wolfeboro