HOLDEN, Maine — Three people were taken to the hospital Friday for treatment of injuries they suffered in a crash on U.S. Route 1A.
The accident happened at 4:10 p.m., when James Turner, 37, of Newport crashed his GMC pickup into the back of a compact Toyota driven by Ryan Carey, 34, of Holden, who was stopped in traffic, waiting to turn onto Charles Road, Holden police Sgt. Eugene Fizell said Friday night.
Fizell said that Turner, who was traveling east in a solid line of weekend traffic, briefly became distracted and took his eyes off the road for a few seconds. When Turner looked up and saw the Toyota, there was not enough time to avoid a crash and his pickup slammed into the car’s back end at an estimated speed of 40 mph, Fizell said.
The truck hit the car with such force that it “collapsed the entire back of the vehicle and pushed it forward. Actually, the rear trunk area and the back seat area were torn from the body frame and pushed forward, stopped at the front seats,” he said.
Fortunately, no one was sitting in the back seat, Fizell said.
“That would have been a nightmare,” he said.
Though Carey was able to get out of the car, his passenger, 32-year-old Catie Berven of Old Town, had to be removed by Brewer firefighters who used hydraulic extrication tools.
“The doors were jammed shut and she was pinned inside,” he said.
Fizell said that personnel from G&H Ambulance, Brad Fitzgerald and Ed Goodwin, who were returning from a run to Ellsworth, were among the first on the scene and rendered initial care to Turner, Carey and Berven, all of whom were injured. They also took one of the victims to the hospital, he said.
“They just happened upon it. They happened on it the same time I arrived,” said Fizell who was at the municipal building about 300 yards away.
All three were taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and were listed in stable condition Friday evening, he said.
The accident resulted in a several-mile-long traffic jam on Route 1A and Interstate 395 that lasted two hours and extended as far back as the Penobscot River, he said. Traffic did not begin to flow again until about 6 p.m. Sgt. William Sheehan of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department assisted with the accident investigation and directing traffic.
The Toyota was demolished, Fizell said. The pickup had about $4,000 in damage to its front.