Patten Trucker Reaches Plea Deal in 2019 Death of Maine State Police Detective
A Patten man will admit responsibility in the death of a State Police detective who was fatally injured on the Interstate, according to the Penobscot County District Attorney's office.
Scott Willett was the driver of a loaded logging truck that lost two wheels on I-95 southbound in Hampden on the morning of April 3, 2019.
Thirty-one-year-old Detective Benjamin Campbell of Millinocket was driving south to Augusta when he stopped his SUV cruiser to help someone stranded along the icy highway. Detective Campbell was assisting the motorist in the breakdown lane when he was struck by a wheel that flew off the trailer of the truck Willett was driving.
The officer later died from his injuries at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.
Investigation of Willett's Trucking Company Leads to Charges
Maine State Police conducted a roadside inspection of Willett's tractor trailer and determined that it had multiple defects that would warrant it to be taken out of commission. Defects included worn and faulty hub components which caused the wheels to come off the trailer. An audit of Scott Willett Trucking revealed inadequate record-keeping, including not maintaining required maintenance, driver and inspection logs.
Willett was charged with causing the death of a person while committing a traffic infraction, five counts of trucking rule violations, and two counts of operating a defective vehicle.
Patten Truck Driver Due in Court in August
The Penobscot County District Attorney's office says a plea agreement will include Willett paying a significant fine and having his driver's license suspended.