FREEPORT, Maine — An elderly man was killed and a Bangor-area woman badly injured in a wrong-way accident Wednesday night on Interstate 295.
Daniel Cressey Sr., 78, of Gorham was killed instantly in the crash and Mary Warner, 58, of Holden was hospitalized at Maine Medical Center in Portland with multiple injuries. Warner was in satisfactory condition Thursday morning, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
Maine State Police troopers are still investigating how Cressey ended up driving north in the interstate’s southbound lane at about 7 p.m., including retracing his activities in the hours before the crash, according to Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland. Investigators suspect the man entered I-295 from Mallet Drive in Freeport and drove north for about two miles, avoiding crashes with several other vehicles before colliding with Warner.
Few details about Cressey were available Thursday, but Rev. Dr. James Haddix, a minister at All Souls Congregational Church in Bangor, said Warner is an active member of his congregation and a prominent radiologist.
“A lot of us have been praying today for her and her family and also for the man who died and his family,” said Haddix.
Haddix said Warner was driving to the Boston area at the time of the crash for her job as a member of the Harvard University Medical School faculty at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Haddix said Warner’s husband, Dr. David Warner, who works in the Bangor area, told Haddix Thursday that Warner was in surgery and suffering from multiple injuries.
“She’s got a long recovery time ahead of her for certain,” said Haddix, who is close friends with the Warners. “It will take months.”
Mary Warner is a member of the board for the Phillips-Strickland House in Bangor, a nonprofit residential care facility, and one of the leaders of the church’s mission work in Honduras, where she has spent several years providing medical care in field clinics in that country.
Warner is also on the church’s executive board and will become its moderator next year, which is akin to being the board’s president.
“She gives a lot to other people,” said Haddix. “She is very well-known to a lot of people in the Bangor area.”
The southbound lane of I-295 was closed for about two hours Wednesday night while rescue crews cleared away the crashed vehicles and pieced together what happened. Traffic was backed up into Brunswick. Prior to the crash, emergency dispatchers had received numerous reports of a car traveling the wrong way on the interstate, according to McCausland.