Runaway Pickup

This screenshot taken from a video shows a runaway pickup going airborn as it enters the parking lot of the Center Harbor Inn. Fortunately, nobody was hurt.

CENTER HARBOR — Chalk it up to divine providence, good karma or just plain dumb luck.

Whatever your preference, no one was injured when a pickup truck rolled out of its parking space in downtown Center Harbor, crossed Main Street, rolled through a small park and jumped over Route 25, before careening into the parking lot of the Center Harbor Inn, where it ultimately stopped when it crashed into a parked delivery truck.

The freak accident occurred Tuesday at 9:40 a.m., according to the Center Harbor Police Department. The vehicle — a 2006 pickup truck — belonged to Brandon Gagnon of Andover, police reported in a statement released to area media. Police did not say what might have caused the truck to move.

A video posted on Facebook shows the truck rolling backward across Route 25, plowing through shrubbery at the hotel’s entrance, pitching over a retaining wall, hitting a dumpster before its rear bumper rammed into the front of a box truck belonging to Peoples Linen Service.

“We’re grateful that no one was hurt,” Justin Cutillo, a vice president of Path Resorts which owns the Center Harbor Inn, said Thursday.

But for the circumstances, the mishap could have been tragic.

Cutillo said two guests were loading luggage into their car just when the unoccupied truck was hurdling into the inn’s parking lot. Had the delivery truck not stopped the pickup from going any further, the two guests could very well have been hit, Cutillo explained.

A few seconds one way or another might have resulted in one or more collisions on Route 25. Cutillo said the hotel manager told him that he heard brakes screeching as vehicles on the heavily-traveled highway stopped abruptly to avoid hitting the truck.

He further said that if delivery truck not been double-parked in front of the hotel, the pickup could either have hit the building or continued rolling through the parking lot, over a 15-foot retaining wall and into an outdoor hot tub.

The pickup truck, which was equipped with a standard transmission, was parked in the lot at the Center Harbor Municipal Building. Cutillo said he was told the truck belonged to member of a paving crew which was doing work in the area.

Efforts to reach Gagnon for comment Thursday were unsuccessful.

The truck’s owner was able to drive the vehicle away from the scene, but the delivery truck had to be towed away because its radiator was smashed in the collision and all the coolant had drained onto the ground.

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