[UPDATE] Police Release Details on the Death of Hancock Deputy
The Maine Department of Public Safety has released more details about the crash that claimed the life of Hancock County Sheriff's Deputy Luke Gross on Thursday.
Officials say Deputy Gross was called to the scene of a crash on Route 3 in Trenton, near the Ellsworth town line. This was at about 4:30 Thursday morning. When he arrived, he found that the driver and the vehicle had already fled the scene.
Deputy Gross parked his cruiser in the westbound breakdown lane with his emergency lights activated, so he could investigate the crash. He was wearing a high visibility traffic vest as he picked up debris from the road when he was struck from behind by a small pick-up truck at approximately 5:15 a.m. 44-year-old Deputy Gross was pronounced dead at the scene. Route 3 in Trenton was closed for much of the morning, as officials investigated the crash. Police say the driver of the pick-up is cooperating with the investigation. No charges are expected to be filed, at this time, against the driver of the pickup.
UPDATE: The driver of the original vehicle (not the pickup that struck Deputy Gross) was located at approximately 9 a.m. Thursday morning by the Maine State Police. 20-year-old Thorin Smith of Bar Harbor was found a short distance away, on Route 3, sleeping in his vehicle. Smith was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, illegal use of drug paraphernalia, and illegal possession of alcohol by a minor.
A procession of law enforcement vehicles escorted the hearse, carrying Deputy Luke Gross, to the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Augusta, and then back to Bucksport on Thursday. First responders lined the roadways and overpasses, to pay their respects as the escort passed by. Our heartfelt condolences to the Deputy's wife and children, family, and friends, and to the Maine law enforcement community, at large.