Hero Down: Maine State Police Det. Benjamin Campbell Killed In Freak Accident

Maine State Police Detective Benjamin Campbell died in the line of duty on Wednesday morning.

Hampden, ME – Maine State Police (MSP) Detective Benjamin Campbell died in the line of duty on Wednesday morning, when he was struck by the detached wheel of a tractor-trailer as he was helping a stranded motorist on the side of the roadway.

The incident occurred at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Interstate 95, near mile marker 179 southbound, MSP Chief Colonel John Cote said during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

Det. Campbell, 31, was on his way to conduct a training session when he came across a vehicle that had “spun out” on the icy roadway, Col. Cote explained.

The disabled vehicle was partially obstructing the travel lane when Det. Campbell stopped to help the driver.

“That became his priority – assisting that person,” Col. Cote said. “He didn’t know any other way to do it.”

He parked his unmarked patrol SUV in an attempt to “shield” the victim’s vehicle from a potential secondary impact, and had his lights activated at the time.

Due to the vehicle’s location on the road and the adverse whether conditions, he requested another unit to respond to the scene.

“While that trooper was en route, a loaded, six-axle log truck tractor-trailer combination approached the scene where Detective Campbell was assisting that motorist,” Col. Cote explained.

“Unrelated to the roadside incident, in what I think can only be considered bizarre timing, two wheels separated from the tractor-trailer as it approached Detective Campbell and that vehicle,” he continued. “One of those wheels rolled harmlessly into the median. The other wheel rolled and struck Detective Campbell as he was outside of his vehicle in the breakdown lane.”

The tire continued to roll, and collided with the vehicle involved in the initial crash.

The veteran detective “received grave injuries as a result of the impact,” Col. Cote said, before pausing to collect his emotions. “And despite the best efforts of many EMS, fire, and police that responded to assist him, he would later succumb to his injuries.”

Det. Campbell was rushed to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver he stopped to assist was uninjured, but witnessed everything that occurred, Col. Cote said.

The 52-year-old tractor-trailer driver remained at the scene, and has cooperated with investigators, who are trying to determine how the wheels came detached from the trailer portion of the vehicle.

The unfortunate timing of all the “bizarre” aspects of the tragedy “defies explanation,” Col. Cote said.

“This has been a tough day…because we’ve lost one of our very best, and we’ve certainly lost one of Maine’s very best,” he told reporters. “This is going to be a loss…our job now is to take care of the family.”

Det. Campbell joined the MSP as a trooper in 2012, and was promoted to the rank of detective in 2016.

He was serving as a member of the MSP’s polygraph unit at the time of his death.

Col. Cote said that Det. Campbell excelled at polygraph examinations because his demeanor caused everyone around him to be very comfortable with him.

“He had a textbook smile,” the colonel explained. “When I say he was one of our best, he always saw the good in whatever was going on. He always focused on the positive.”

He would have celebrated his 32nd birthday on Monday.

Det. Campbell was especially proud of his wife, Hillary, and their six-month-old son, Everett.

He “glowed” whenever he introduced anyone to her, and “took pride” in his marriage and son, Col. Cote said.

Maine Governor Janet Mills ordered U.S. and state flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of Det. Campbell’s service.

“On behalf of the people of Maine, I express our deepest and unwavering gratitude for Detective Campbell's service,” Mills tweeted. “Together let us keep his family, friends and loved ones, along with Maine’s entire law enforcement community, in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Maine State Police Detective Benjamin Campbell, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Comments (21)
No. 1-14
Copsdaughter1995
Copsdaughter1995

Prayers to his fellow officers and to his wife and little boy!!!

Snakeman 51
Snakeman 51

RIP, Brother. You are not forgotten.

Trueferblue
Trueferblue

Rest in peace Sir.

TrueAmerican
TrueAmerican

What a heartbreaker. My prayers go out to his wife, son and fellow Trooper's. God bless you Trooper Campbell and thank you for your service 🙏💙🖤💙🖤🇺🇸

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Truck driver probably slowed suddenly because of Maine's move over law.

Chiefy
Chiefy

RIP Trooper Det. Campbell. Thank you for your service, dedication and for making the ultimate sacrifice, on behalf of your community and our nation. Prayers for comfort and strength for the Campbell family, his co-workers and friends. Thank you good and faithful servant.

VicG
VicG

Condolences to family and department. Rest in Peace Troop...

Wish505
Wish505

Such a sad situation. Prayers to all involved and in need from this LE.

jimmyfboyd1234
jimmyfboyd1234

Blessed are the PEACEMAKERS for they shall be called SON'S of GOD. Matthew 5:9

Mimi54
Mimi54

Wow, that is freaky, RIP Hero!

teecook58
teecook58

Your shift is over officer Your brothers and sisters will take now.You have a Blue family here on earth and so many hero's ready to greet you at the gates of heaven.There you will be with all your fellow hero's ready to give you your Angel wings.So you rest now officer Campbell along side the other hero's May God Bless your family and your family of Blue.you will be missed and never forgotten. From Walker ,Louisiana another Blue family

BlueLM101
BlueLM101

OMG this is absolutely horrible. I really feel for the state of Maine, the Maine State Police and the family of Detective Campbell. I live in NH and this is basically in my backyard. Rest in peace detective and god watch over his friends, colleges and family.

Morgan Ray
Morgan Ray

Dang, freak accident for sure. Prayers for his family.

NickyJ
NickyJ

Prayers to his family🙏