A woman from Rockland was killed Monday afternoon, May 23, after the car she was driving crossed into the oncoming lane on Route 52 and collided with a loaded dump truck.

According to Belfast Police Chief Jeff Trafton, 54-year-old Janice Brown was headed north on Route 52 in a state-owned Ford Focus shortly after 1 p.m. Monday. Brown, Trafton said, was a caseworker with the Department of Health and Human Services, and had been for several years.

At the same time, 39-year-old Michael Haynes of Lincolnville was headed south on Route 52 in a 1999 Freightliner dump truck owned by Young’s Construction of Lincolnville.

Just south of the intersection with Edgecomb Road, on a curve near the Dog Island Bridge, Brown’s vehicle reportedly crossed the centerline and collided head-on with the dump truck. Trafton said the crash was reported to police just after 1:15 p.m.

The collision forced both vehicles off the road into the ditch, where they caught fire. Trafton said both vehicles were severely burned.

Haynes was able to escape his vehicle without any injuries, but Brown died at the scene, Trafton said.

Trafton said police do not have any information on why Brown crossed into the oncoming lane, and he said it is unlikely they will ever know why that happened. There were no eyewitnesses to the crash, Trafton said, and Haynes didn’t see Brown’s vehicle until it was too late, as he was coming around the corner.

“By the time he saw her, she was in his lane and he didn’t have time to react,” said Trafton.

Once he was out of his vehicle, Haynes reportedly made an effort to save Brown. Trafton said Haynes and a passerby, retired Game Warden Norman Moulton of Belfast, tried to pull Brown out of her vehicle.

“The fire was spreading too quickly, though, and they couldn’t get her out,” said Trafton.

The Belfast Fire Department responded to the scene to put the fire out, and in addition to Belfast police and ambulance personnel, other agencies that responded to the crash scene included the Maine State Police, Department of Environmental Protection and the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office.

Trafton said that section of Route 52 was closed for about four hours Monday afternoon, until around 5:30 p.m., while authorities investigated the crash and worked to clear the scene.