Snow laden tree crushes coach’s Dodge

FORT KENT, Maine — When it comes to Mother Nature, even national championship winning soccer coaches are not immune from her wrath.

On Thursday, Dec. 1, Fort Kent’s first major snowstorm had the public works department working overtime to clear roads as Emera Maine responded to one report after another of electrical wires downed by snow laden tree limbs.

A tree covers Bill Ashby's truck at the University of Maine at Fort Kent on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. (Photo courtesy of Shelagh Van Anglen)

A tree covers Bill Ashby’s truck at the University of Maine at Fort Kent on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. (Photo courtesy of Shelagh Van Anglen)

Meanwhile, at the University of Maine at Fort Kent Sports Center, a large tree fell on a 2006 Dodge Ram pick-up belonging to UMFK Athletic Director Bill Ashby, who is also the head coach of the USCAA Championship winning Bengal Men’s soccer team.

Ashby, despite an officially sanctioned “snow day,” spent the afternoon working at his office in the Sports Center, and was preparing to return home when he heard some hair-raising student chatter.

“One of the kids in the gym said, ‘Hey, a tree just fell down outside,’” Ashby recalled. “I just kind of off the top of my head thought, ‘It’s probably on my truck,’ and it was.”

Ashby said his was the only vehicle parked outside the center at the time, and the tree caused extensive damage. “It went through the hood, dented the top of (the truck), dented the door, and broke off a mirror,” he said.

Andrew Marquis of Marquis Tree Works freed the truck with a front end loader and a chain, according to Ashby.

“It was quite an operation to get it un-snagged,” the coach said.

Ashby was able to drive the truck to his home a few blocks from the UMFK campus.

The truck is insured, according to Ashby, although he said he is unsure whether his insurance or university insurance will be responsible for repairs. Ashby plans to bring the Dodge to a garage on Friday.

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