The widow of a man killed in a collision with a truck in September sued a Central Maine Power Co. contractor in federal court in Maine on Monday, alleging the incident happened while the driver was distracted and working on the hydropower corridor.
Shannon Rollins-Allen of Madison sued Wisconsin-based contractor Northern Clearing Inc. and truck driver Curtis W. Stephens of Kentucky in the U.S. District Court in Maine. She filed the lawsuit on behalf of herself and the estate of her husband, Christopher Allen, who died at the scene.
Allen, 46, was driving the car and Rollins-Allen was a passenger when the truck came into its lane on a road in Norridgewock. In the lawsuit, Rollins-Allen alleges that Stephens “became distracted by looking at an electronic device and negligently crossed into the opposing lane,” colliding head-on with Allen’s car.
The lawsuit also alleges the truck Stephens was driving was used by Northern Clearing on the CMP project. Rollins-Allen says both Northern Clearing and Stephens were negligent. A Northern Clearing spokesperson said he could not comment on the lawsuit because it is an ongoing matter.
Northern Clearing was hired to clear forest and other growth and improve access roads for the project, which has been halted after Maine voters rejected it in a November referendum, leading to a key permit being suspended by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
Rollins-Allen, who said she was severely injured in the incident, is asking for damages recoverable under Maine law, including medical and funeral expenses and punitive damages. She has requested a jury trial.
The Somerset County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation into the crash is active and no charges have been filed yet. Once the investigation has been completed, it will be forwarded to the Somerset County District Attorney’s office for review and consideration.