Police: Brake System Failure Caused Deadly Parade Crash
Bangor police have completed their investigation into the deadly crash during Bangor’s 4th of July parade. According to the report, Wallace Fenlason, 63, of Holden, was killed instantly when he was run over by an antique fire truck. Police have concluded the primary cause of the crash was brake system failure on the fire truck. According to the report, the brake failure was due to an “insufficient amount of brake fluid and poor quality brake fluid which introduced air into the brake system.”An off-duty Bangor firefighter was driving the 1930 McCann fire truck behind Fenlason in the parade. Fenlason was driving a 1941 John Deere farm tractor. Since both vehicles were antiques, they were not required to be registered or inspected when being used on a closed access parade route. According to the police investigation, both the truck and tractor were traveling at approximately 1.8 mph, which is the average parade speed. Police have determined both vehicles turned right onto Water Street, which was the steepest point on the parade route. According to the report, Fenlason stopped for other parade units in front of him, and the driver of the fire truck tried to stop, but couldn’t. The investigation determined the “brakes on the fire truck failed and the truck struck the rear of the tractor causing it to overturn.”The driver of the fire truck told police he had to grab the handbrake to get the truck stopped. According to police, unless he was responsible for the vehicle’s maintenance, the driver of the fire truck could not have prevented the crash from happening. The report states the driver had no advance notice that the brakes would fail.