Going the Distance For Colby Miles

Caitlin Burchill

Updated 10 months ago

Last Saturday night, a Thomaston man flipped his truck while avoiding a deer.

While he recovers at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, his two passions are coming together to help others.

20-year-old Colby Miles, a freight train conductor for Maine Eastern Railroad and a Thomaston firefighter, has made an impact on everyone he’s worked with, and when they heard about his accident…

“Personally, it was like someone had just punched me in the stomach because I literally had just seen him on Friday,” said Harmony Llanto, one of his Maine Eastern Railroad co-workers.

“It’s especially hard when you hear it’s not only someone you know, but it’s also a fellow brother in the fire department,” said Thomaston Firefighter Francis Brandon.

Before his accident, Miles had asked his fellow firefighters to help him with the railroad’s “Toys ‘N’ Turkeys Train” event Saturday where a special train will stop at four railroad stations across the state to collect food and toy donations to be distributed locally.

“We knew he was going to be over there, so we were going to bring whatever we could anyway, but now it’s kind of kicked this thing into overdrive. We want to get as much as we can fill the truck and get it over there,” said Brandon.

Even though Miles can’t be there this Saturday, his jacket will be.

“It doesn’t replace him because he brings this aspect, this energy you’re not going to get otherwise, but at least it’s two of his passions coming together and making this happen for people in need this area,” said Llanto.

While this is the railway’s inaugural event, they say the support has been incredible.

“I just really wish he could be here, but him being here, I think he would be shocked by what is transpiring. He obviously means a lot to everyone here and there and the community, and were routing for him to get back,” she added.

“For Colby, just get better. We want you back. We put a lot of time into training you so her back on the truck. We need you,” said Llanto.

The “Toys ‘N’ Turkey” charity train will make stops Saturday at the locations below.

They ask for donations of new, unwrapped toys, frozen turkeys, and non-perishable food items.

The Thomaston Fire Department says if anyone in the area needs items to be picked up and brought to the Union Street Station in Rockland. Contact them between 6am-6pm at: (207) 354-6345. They will try to arrange something.
The Maine Eastern Railroad will accept donations on Saturday, November 16th, at the following stations:

Rockland        8:00 AM to 10:00 AM        4 Union Street
Wiscasset      10:15 AM to 11:15 AM        Railroad Avenue
Bath                11:35 AM to 12:30 PM        Visitor Center (15 Commercial Street)

Brunswick      1:00 PM to 2:15 PM            Visitor Center (16 Station Avenue)

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