ROCHESTER — Police are looking into whether a medical or mechanical issue was involved in an accident which led to the death of a 60-year-old man Monday.
Police, firefighters and emergency personnel responded around 1:20 p.m. after a westbound 2005 Ford Ranger pickup, driven by Edward M. Deal, 60, of Rochester, drove off the shoulder before striking trees on the other side of the road in the area of 239 Walnut St. — Route 202A.
As a result of the impact, Deal was trapped inside the pickup, which caught on fire. A passerby stopped to help by using hand-held extinguishers before police arrived and an officer also used an extinguisher to quell the flames, according to police.
Firefighters then arrived and put out the fire before extricating Deal from the truck.
Paramedics from Frisbie Memorial Ambulance drove Deal to Skyhaven Airport, where he was flown to Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine, with serious injuries, according to police.
Capt. Paul Toussaint said Wednesday that Deal was pronounced dead at the hospital, but it was unclear when he succumbed to his injuries or if it contributed to the accident.
“Whenever there is a single vehicle accident, we usually look to see whether there was a medical condition,” Toussaint said.
Toussaint said members of the Strafford County Regional Technical Accident Reconstruction team, which responded to the scene Monday, are handling the investigation.
On Monday, Walnut Street was closed between Sampson Road and Estes Road due to the accident.
“At this time alcohol does not appear to be a factor,” according to police.