A Veazie police officer and Orono Fire Department paramedic evaluate Lt. Jon Carson in his cruiser after it collided with a passenger car on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, in Veazie. Credit: Sawyer Loftus / BDN

A Veazie police officer  involved in a crash last month was not following department policy when he ran a red light and collided with a resident’s car.

The crash happened just before 2 p.m. Oct. 22 at the intersection of Chase Road and State Street in Veazie, which is also Route 2. The crash totaled both vehicles involved, Veazie Town Manager and Police Chief Mark Leonard said.

Veazie police Lt. Jon Carson was responding to another emergency when he ran the red light at the intersection, colliding with the other car, according to the crash report completed by the Orono Police Department.

Carson had his emergency lights switched on, but not his sirens, meaning he was not following department policy, Leonard said Wednesday.

Carson’s cruiser t-boned the other vehicle as it was crossing State Street and hit it with such force that it propelled the car across the street into a nearby lawn, according to the crash report. Carson was driving toward Bangor when the crash happened.

A Community Connector bus driver who witnessed the crash said the cruiser was “screaming” down the road at a high speed.

The crash report did not indicate the estimated speeds of either vehicle.

Under state law, an emergency vehicle responding to a call can go through a red light or stop sign without stopping. However, it should use either a bell, horn or siren when approaching a red light or stop sign to alert other drivers and pedestrians that it will be going through the intersection.

Carson has returned to duty with no restrictions, Leonard said, but “appropriate steps have been taken to assure protocol is followed in the future.”

Both Carson and the Veazie driver were taken to the hospital that day with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

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Sawyer Loftus

Sawyer Loftus is a reporter covering Old Town, Orono and the surrounding areas. A recent graduate of the University of Vermont, Sawyer grew up in Vermont where he's worked for Vermont Public Radio, The...