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Trucker whose dislodged tire killed trooper fined $15,000

August 21, 2022 GMT

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A truck driver who admitted responsibility in the death of a Maine state police detective who was struck by a dislodged tire has been ordered to pay $15,000 in fines.

Scott Willett of Patten, will also have his driver’s license suspended for six months, a judge said Friday.

Detective Ben Campbell, 31, was killed when a tire from Willett’s truck fell off and hit him on April 3, 2019. He was headed to a training event when he stopped to help a driver in a snowstorm in Hampden.

In a statement read in court, Campbell’s mother said: “I cannot forgive you. Nothing will bring Ben back. The loss and suffering will forever weigh heavily on my heart,” WABI-TV reported. Campbell is survived by a wife and a son, who was just six months old when Campbell was killed.

Willett pleaded guilty to causing the death of a person while committing a traffic infraction, along with several trucking violations and operation of a defective vehicle.

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Willett said in court Friday that “not a day goes by” that he doesn’t think about what happened.

“It was an accident that I never would have ever imagined. I just feel so bad myself. I have to deal with this, too, every day,” he said, according to WABI-TV.

State police previously suspended the license of a mechanic, alleging that his inspection of the logging truck and trailer less than a month before the incident was inadequate.

The detective’s funeral at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland represented the largest gathering of Maine state troopers in history, officials said. It drew 3,000 mourners including law enforcement officers from as far away as Canada and California.