The Election Day crash of a Bangor trolley taking voters to the polls at the Cross Insurance Center happened when the brakes failed, the trolley’s driver told police.
Details about the Nov. 2 crash at the corner of Main and Cedar streets are included in the preliminary crash report filed with the state.
Lester Gardner, 80, of Bangor was driving the city-owned trolley in the right lane on Main Street at about 10:20 a.m. when the brakes failed, the report said. He swerved to the right to avoid hitting a pickup truck stopped at the red light in front of the trolley and intentionally hit the crosswalk sign to try to slow down, but the trolley did not stop.
Instead, it struck a flatbed tractor-trailer driven by Daniel Gallant, 54, of Bangor, who was turning left from Cedar Street onto Main Street, according to the report. The trolley then veered onto the sidewalk in front of the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter and into its parking lot, where it stopped after striking two parked vehicles owned by shelter staff.
Gardner and two passengers, ages 82 and 73, were taken to area hospitals for minor injuries.
The trolley, the flatbed tractor trailer and one of the parked cars had to be towed from the scene, the report said.
Members of the Maine State Police’s commercial vehicle unit have to inspect the trolley to determine if the brakes failed and why before the crash report is considered final, according to Sgt. Wade Betters, spokesperson for the Bangor Police Department.
In addition, a reconstruction of the crash will need to be completed before the investigation into the crash is considered complete, he said.
There is no timeline for adding that information to the report, Betters said.