BELFAST, Maine — Two separate accidents involving a total of five vehicles happened Thursday morning in the exact same spot at the intersection of Congress Street and U.S. Route 1, police said.
Officers, who blamed both accidents on driver inattention, estimated that four of the vehicles were totaled. Although three people were taken to Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast to be treated for injuries, all were released shortly afterward, police said.
The first accident happened at 10 a.m. when 88-year-old Linwood Walker of Belfast attempted to drive across Route 1 from Congress Street to Lower Congress Street. He apparently did not see the 1999 Chevrolet Blazer driven by Theresa McQueen, 52, of Belfast, who was headed south on Route 1, according to Officer Wendell Ward of the Belfast Police Department.
Walker’s 2004 Ford station wagon struck the Blazer broadside. The Chevrolet spun and then rolled over before coming to rest on its passenger side on the shoulder of the southbound lane.
Ward said that the vehicle appeared to have been totaled and McQueen complained of bumps and bruises after the crash.
Walker, however, was able to get out of his station wagon to check on McQueen.
“He said he was fine,” Ward said.
After officials had cleared the accident scene, another three-car collision took place at the same intersection at 11:50 a.m.
Officer Eric Kelley said that Nelson Walker, 54, of Prospect had been driving a 2004 Ford pickup truck on Congress Street and was waiting for a school bus to turn left from Route 1. The bus was taking a while to turn, Kelley said, and Walker “gunned it” across Route 1.
However, he struck a 2006 Subaru station wagon that he apparently hadn’t seen behind the stopped school bus. The station wagon driven by Maureen O’Keefe, 59, of Northport,then ended up in the path of a 1997 Oldsmobile driven by Sandie Travis, 46, of Swanville. Travis had two passengers with her — Gladys Lanpher, 22, and Diane Blood, 26, both of Bangor.
All three of the vehicles “may be totaled,” Kelley said.
O’Keefe and Travis complained of pain and were taken to the hospital for treatment.
Police said there is no traffic light at the well-traveled intersection.