Sangerville firefighter dies in Oxford County trash truck crash
STONEHAM — A Sangerville volunteer firefighter was killed when the trash truck he was driving went off Route 5 in the Oxford County town of Stoneham and struck a tree on the afternoon of Thursday, Aug. 22.
According to WGME, Oxford County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy James Urquhart said Justin Gerickont, 22 of Sangerville, was driving a garbage truck owned by BDS Waste Disposal of Detroit, whom he worked for full-time as a driver, north on Route 5 when he drove off the right side of the road, rolling the truck on its side and striking a tree.
Police said Gerickont was wearing a seatbelt and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Passenger Jason Downs, 30, of Solon, was transported by LifeFlight helicopter to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston where he was in serious condition.
In addition to the Oxford County Sheriff’s Department fire departments from Stoneham, Lovell, Bethel and Waterford, PACE Ambulance Service and Stoneham Rescue were at the scene. Maine State Police assisted in reconstructing the crash, which is under investigation by the sheriff’s office.
Gerickont was remembered in a post by Assistant Chief Wanda L. Drummond on the Sangerville Fire Department Facebook page that evening. “It saddens me to report that I just got word that we lost one of our firefighters again in a motor vehicle accident tonight,” Drummond wrote.
In February 2018 Sangerville Fire Department Assistant Chief Jeffrey Willey, 44 of Sangerville, who had been a member of the department for 20 years, was killed when his snowmobile struck a tree in Corinna.
“It is hard to believe that such a great person and firefighter is gone,” Drummond wrote. “Justin Gerickont was so young. He was one of our best mechanics for our apparatus and always carried a smile. Lord get us through this tragedy. We will need it. Rest in peace brother ‘Shrek’ you will be missed.”
In an email Sangerville Fire Chief Jerry Rush wrote that Gerickont joined the department in June 2014 as a junior firefighter and worked his way up to engineer. “He loved to work on all the fire trucks and other equipment as well as firefighter duties,” Rush wrote. “Justin was always interested when it came to firefighting, learning and training whenever he could. I think he was pretty partial to our tanker truck (830), but he could run all our trucks with ease. He also was interior attack on the fire ground. We will all miss him very much , his smiling face, cheerful attitude and just an all around nice guy. So sad to lose someone so young. We send our condolences to all his family. May God be with you.”
Other area first responders sent condolences following the accident. “Our hearts go out to Sangerville firefighter Gerickont’s family, friends, and community as a whole. A life lost too young,” read a Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Gerickont family. RIP in peace, Justin,” the Dover-Foxcroft Police Department posted on its Facebook page.