MILFORD, Maine — Weather conditions Friday that ranged from wet, heavy snow to slush and freezing rain spawned motor vehicle accidents throughout Penobscot County.
County, state and local police were called to more than 20 crashes, most of them minor, between 4 a.m. through midafternoon. The accidents continued through early evening.
The fact that many schools were closed and events canceled meant thousand of Mainers who otherwise would have been out on the roads stayed home.
The list of accidents in Penobscot County included two that were reported within seconds of each other at 2:18 p.m. in Milford and Hermon.
The Milford accident sent two people to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries, including scrapes, bruises and complaints of pain, Deputy Ray Goodspeed of the Penobscot Country Sheriff’s Department said.
Corey Eldridge, 26, of Hermon and his passenger, 23-year-old Jessica Ireland of Bangor both were taken to a Bangor hospital for treatment of their injuries, which Goodspeed said were not considered life-threatening.
Goodspeed said the accident happened when Eldridge, who was headed north, lost control of his 2002 Dodge pickup on Route 2, near Highway Service. Eldridge slid into the southbound traveling lane, nearly colliding with an oncoming vehicle, the deputy said. After the truck regained traction, it left the roadway and struck a utility pole.
Though Eldridge may have been traveling under the posted speed limit of 45 mph, he was still driving too fast for the road conditions, Goodspeed said.
Messy roads as well as driver inexperience were factors in the Hermon accident, which occurred on Newburgh Road, Penobscot County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Parady said.
Though that accident did not result in injury, it did result in heavy damage to an older model Ford Explorer driven by an 18-year-old, he said. The Ford got caught up in the slush and was pulled off the roadway, glancing off a utility pole, Parady said.
“The roads were slushy, unfortunately for us in Hermon,” Parady said late Friday afternoon. “Some people don’t know when to slow down and take extra time to get to their destinations.”
Parady reminded drivers to reduce speeds and exercise caution when roads are slippery and to anticipate potential hazards along their routes.