A Maine state trooper with ties to western Massachusetts was struck and killed in a crash on Interstate 95 in Maine Wednesday morning.
According to Maine State Police, 31-year-old Ben Campbell was assisting a vehicle in a breakdown lane on I-95 in the town of Hampden, when a tire came off a tractor-trailer that was driving by, hitting him.
The accident happened south of the Colebrook Road overpass just after 7:30 a.m. Campbell was rushed by ambulance to Eastern Medical Center in Bangor, where he was pronounced dead.
Campbell is an Easthampton native and graduated from Westfield State University with degrees in sociology and criminal justice. He joined the Maine State Police in 2012 and was promoted to detective in 2016. He would have turned 32 on Monday.
Detective Campbell graduated from Smith Vocational High School in Northampton and went on to play baseball at Westfield State. Members of the Westfield State Athletic Department mourned his loss on Wednesday.
“He got 62 hits in 2010, and he was also an all-academic performer in the classroom,” said Dick Lenfest, director of athletics at Westfield State. “He was I want to say kind of a gentle giant. he was a good athlete and a super teammate. We’re just so sorry.”
The Easthampton native is survived by his wife and six-month-old son.
A news conference was held Wednesday afternoon, providing additional information about the crash. Watch full news conference below:
“Our hearts are broken at the loss of our brother Det. Ben Campbell,” Maine State Police stated in a Facebook post late Wednesday afternoon. “Thank you all for your support on this terrible day. The kind words we have received bring us comfort. Rest in Peace, brother. We have the watch.”
The Easthampton Police Department asked residents to keep the Campbell family and the Maine State Police in their thoughts. The Easthampton city council recognized the fallen trooper in their meeting Wednesday night.
“Councilor wrist asked for a moment of silence in respect for the fact that the trooper died,” said Eli Damon of Easthampton.
This is the second loss of a state trooper Westfield State has mourned in the last year. Sergeant Sean Gannon was also a criminology graduate and was shot and killed in the line of duty on Cape Cod last April.
Campbells family was escorted by Massachusetts State Police up to Maine.