MEDWAY, Maine— Icy road conditions Saturday night on Interstate 95 near the Medway exit led to four separate accidents, involving a total of at least nine cars, one of which was serious enough to send a New Brunswick man to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor by LifeFlight helicopter.
State police Trooper Barry Meserve said a brief rain shower created glare-ice conditions on the northbound side of the highway, causing some vehicles to slide off the road into a snowbank. The incidents all happened within about 250 yards in the area just before the bridge over the West Branch of the Penobscot River. State police started to receive calls about the accidents at about 8:20 p.m.
“The [drivers] probably were going too fast for the conditions, but that wouldn’t be the primary factor,” Meserve said. “It was just one of those freak things that it rained just enough to turn everything [to ice].”
Meserve said New Brunswick resident Adam MacDougall, 20, was driving his vehicle when he swerved to avoid a vehicle that was involved. He went sideways, skidded into the back of another vehicle that was already sideways, and was struck by another vehicle.
“He became a pinball, if you will,” Meserve said.
MacDougall was taken to EMMC with internal injuries, Meserve said. He is in stable condition, an EMMC spokeswoman said Monday.
Three other people involved in the accidents were taken to Millinocket Regional Hospital with injuries, but MacDougall’s were the most serious, Meserve said.
The interstate was shut down for three hours while emergency workers cleared the road.
Other vehicles may have been involved, Meserve said, but the drivers may have been able to get out of the snowbank without damage to their vehicles and did not report their accidents to police.
The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department along with police and fire departments from East Millinocket, Medway and Millinocket worked at the accident scene.