Truck driver who delivered MRI building to Bar Harbor gets warm welcome

Indiana native Mike Saxton says he was blown away by the reception he received when he arrived...
Indiana native Mike Saxton says he was blown away by the reception he received when he arrived with the MRI building in Bar Harbor.(Bryan Sidelinger)
Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 6:32 PM EDT
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BAR HARBOR, Maine (WABI) - The building that will house MDI Hospital’s new MRI machine has made its way to downeast Maine from Wisconsin, after two weeks on the road.

Altogether, the truck, trailer and building totaled 142 feet long by 15 feet wide, weighing in at 200,000 pounds.

The journey has caused a social media stir and multiple traffic stoppages over the last 48 hours, and the driver has become an overnight folk-hero for many in Bar Harbor, for a difficult job well done.

Mike Saxton didn’t get the normal welcome he usually receives when he rolled into Bar Harbor Thursday, after getting stuck on the Penobscot Narrows Bridge on Wednesday, and again in Northeast Harbor on Thursday.

“We’re used to being cussed at, cursed at because we shut down the road,” he said. “We’ve done this, why is it taking so long, this-and-that. So It’s part of the job. You just gotta keep your head and get on your way.”

Instead, Saxton found a community full of gratitude, and it caught him a little off guard.

“People were clapping and cheering for him,” said MDI Hospital President and CEO Chrissie Maguire. “They were so positive. People were bringing him donuts and coffee. He shook my hand, I thanked him profusely for navigating this tenuous course to get down here, and he said, ‘Ma’am, that’s what they pay me to do.’ So we made sure he had a room in town, and that he was fed, and was taken care of.”

“It was amazing,” Saxton said. “Definitely not what I was expecting from the northeast. We’re not, none of us is used to this. We do a job, once the job is done we’re off to the next one.”

Saxton has received dozens of texts and messages, and a GoFundMe has even been set up to help bring him back to Bar Harbor soon for a proper vacation.

“It makes me feel good, yeah,” said Saxton, getting a bit choked up. “I mean, I do this, and… it’s pretty good.

Saxton says driving loads like the MRI building halfway across the country is treacherous and mostly thankless work. But he says for him, it’s a perfect fit.

“It pays the bills,” he said. “Plus, I can’t work anywhere else. I got fired from McDonald’s because I wasn’t aggressive enough.”

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