ORLAND, Maine — An Orland man riding a motorcycle was killed Thursday afternoon after crossing into oncoming traffic on Route 1 and colliding with a car.
Gerald Guse, 71, was the longtime plumbing inspector for Orland and a few years ago had become the code enforcement officer in the town. He also was the code enforcement officer and building and plumbing inspector for Verona Island and the plumbing inspector for the town of Penobscot.
“He was dedicated to what he did for the town,” Connie Brown, the Orland town clerk, said Friday morning, adding that the town office was saddened and shocked by his death.
Guse, riding a 2007 Kawasaki motorcycle, crossed the centerline into the southbound lane at about 5:45 p.m. Thursday, and collided with a 1999 Volkswagen driven by Steven J. McDonough of Bangor, according to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department. Guse was taken by Bucksport Ambulance to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where he died of his injuries, according to the police report. He had been wearing a helmet.
McDonough, 60, suffered minor cuts and abrasions during the accident. He was taken by ambulance to Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth for treatment. Passengers Sarah E. McDonough, 34, Bevonny McDonough, 17, and Pepper Tilley, 7, all of Orland, were not injured in the crash. All occupants of the Volkswagen were wearing their seat belts.
Police said Friday that the cause and contributing factors of the accident remain under investigation. The accident will be reconstructed by Deputy Jeffrey McFarland of the sheriff’s office.
The Orland Fire Department and the Bucksport Ambulance Service assisted the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office at the accident scene.
Guse used to work at the paper mill in Bucksport, Brown said, and also had served on the Orland Planning Board.
“It’s still kind of surreal,” she said. “I’ve been here 25 years and he’s been here longer than me.”