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Smithfield man hospitalized after car collides with railroad machinery in Belgrade

An 83-year-old man from Smithfield was hospitalized Thursday after the car he was driving collided with a railroad tamper, seen in background, on Route 27 in Belgrade. Photo courtesy of state Department of Public Safety

BELGRADE — A motorist was hurt Thursday when his car struck railroad machinery at a rail crossing on Route 27, authorities said.

The injuries suffered by 83-year-old William Bockman of Smithfield are not considered to be life-threatening, according to a statement released by Shannon Moss, spokeswoman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The Hyundai Elantra that Bockman was driving southbound collided with a railroad tamper about 6 a.m. on Route 27, also known as the Augusta Road. The tamper was being operated by Bryce Willette, 19, of Madison, Moss said. It wasn’t clear Thursday what led to the collision, she said. A tamper is used as part of rail maintenance to pack the track ballast and keep it level.

Willette sustained minor injuries in the collision and Bockman was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Photos shared by Maine State Police showed extensive damage to the front of Bockman’s car. A front wheel was ripped away and the front of the car on the driver’s side was pushed inward nearly to the driver’s door.

The southbound lane of Route 27 was temporarily closed as investigators and work crews cleared the scene.

Moss said the crash remains under investigation.

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