ETNA, Maine — A Newport woman suffered life-threatening injuries Tuesday morning after she lost control of her minivan on Interstate 95, struck a guardrail and was ejected from the vehicle.
The woman’s 2-month-old child, who was secured in a car seat in the back of the 2004 Kia minivan, was unharmed, Maine State Police Trooper Darren Vittum said.
“We’re trying to determine whether she fell asleep or was tending to the child,” the trooper said. “We’ve spoken to a couple witnesses, but the accident is still being reconstructed.”
The woman, Shannon Smith, 34, was taken by LifeFlight helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. Vittum said she had numerous broken bones and suffered serious head trauma. The hospital did not release any information about her condition Tuesday afternoon.
The child was taken briefly to the hospital as a precaution but then was released to family members, Vittum said.
The accident happened just before 6:30 a.m. in the southbound lane of the interstate near mile marker 162. Witnesses told police the woman veered on the road to the right and struck a guardrail. She then veered back across both travel lanes and struck the guardrail in the median, Vittum said.
Smith, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected and also struck the guardrail. The van continued into the woods off the interstate and came to rest without rolling over, the trooper said.
Police closed both southbound lanes to traffic for about an hour, which caused massive delays. One lane was reopened at about 7:30 a.m., but traffic was backed up for miles.