No charges expected in crash that killed deputy

TRENTON — Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputy Luke Gross was struck and killed Sept. 23 by a pickup truck whose driver did not see him in the roadway picking up debris from a hit-and-run accident on Route 3 in Trenton. 

A state of Maine crash report said the roadway was dry and weather conditions clear when Gross, 44, who had been clad in a reflective vest, was struck at 5:15 a.m. 

“At the time of the crash, Deputy Gross was wearing a high-visibility reflective vest and walking with traffic, appearing to reach down to pick up a piece of vehicle debris to remove from the roadway, when Unit 1 struck him from behind as Deputy Gross bent down,” Maine State Police Sgt. Aaron M. Turcotte stated. 

The report states that Gross had been “in the roadway improperly” when the collision occurred. 

Timothy J. Badger, 55, of Levant, was driving the truck, a 2017 Nissan, that struck Gross, according to the report. Troopers said Badger has been cooperative and they do not anticipate criminal charges. 

The crash report states that Badger was not distracted at the time of the crash and that there was “no contributing action” on his part. 

Gross, an 18-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, sustained “significant head trauma and died from injuries suffered in the crash,” Turcotte stated in a narrative on the report. 

Hancock County Sheriff Scott Kane said Gross had been dispatched to the scene around 4 a.m. for a report of a crashed vehicle. The operator of that vehicle fled before the deputy arrived, police said. Gross had parked his cruiser in the westbound breakdown lane with his emergency lights activated to investigate the crash. 

A few hours after the crash Sept. 23, troopers located the driver of the crashed vehicle who allegedly fled the scene that Gross was initially investigating. The driver was located a short distance away in his vehicle sleeping, Maine Public Safety spokeswoman Shannon Moss reported. 

Thorin Smith, 20, of Bar Harbor, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, illegal use of drug paraphernalia and illegal possession of alcohol by a minor, Moss said. 

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

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