Police Release Identity Of Driver Det. Ben Campbell Was Helping
Police have revealed the identity of the driver who was being assisted by Detective Ben Campbell when he was fatally struck by a wayward tire.
Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland says the driver whose vehicle spun out on the Interstate last Wednesday morning in Hampden is 26-year-old Robert John Anthony of Clifton. State Police Detective Ben Campbell came across the vehicle on his way to training and stopped to help the driver get his vehicle turned around.
Police say Campbell called for back-up to help alert other motorists to the issue, and was outside his cruiser, when a tractor trailer approached the scene. As the truck was changing lanes, two tires separated from the vehicle. One of those tires struck Campbell, causing grave injuries.
A man on Facebook who says he's Robert John Anthony (the display name is different) wrote a poignant letter to the Trooper that's gone viral, talking about Campbell's warm smile that instantly made him feel safer. He says one of the tires struck his car, causing the airbag to deploy, which knocked him out. When he came to, he saw Campbell, gravely injured. The letter ends with a promise to never forget Campbell's smile, kindness, and sacrifice.
A funeral service for Campbell is planned for Tuesday morning at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. Police agencies from around the state plan to attend the service. In addition, McCausland says representatives from at least eighteen other State Police and Highway Patrol agencies plan to attend the funeral, along with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Donations to Detective Campbell's family can be sent via Bangor Savings Bank to the Detective Benjamin Campbell fund, Bangor Savings Bank, P.O. Box 454, Skowhegan, ME 04976.