Four-vehicle crash near construction site triggers warning from sheriff’s office

Posted Feb. 18, 2013, at 5:42 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 18, 2013, at 7:21 p.m.

DURHAM, Maine — Two men were hospitalized Monday morning after the driver of a truck, blinded by the sun, crashed into a line of stopped cars near a construction zone on Route 136.

The incident prompted Deputy Jon Guay of the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office to warn drivers to slow down while construction continues — likely throughout the next year.

Richard Barrett, 77, who was driving a 2006 GMC Sierra pickup truck, was blinded by the sun and raised his hands to shield his eyes, Guay said.

Barrett hit a 2004 Toyota RAV 4 driven by Jeremy Jerschina, 23, who at the time was outside his vehicle to change drivers with his passenger, 21-year-old John Stiritz.

Jerschina and Stiritz were taken to Central Maine Medical Center with injuries that were not life-threatening and complaints of pain.

Jerschina’s vehicle was pushed into a 1999 Volkswagen driven by 40-year-old Travis Jorgensen, and Jorgensen’s car hit a 2003 Subaru Legacy driven by 44-year-old Michael Duff, according to Guay.

Durham Fire and Rescue responded, as well as ambulances from Lisbon and Freeport.

Route 136 was closed for approximately an hour.

Guay cautioned drivers along that stretch of Route 136 to be prepared to stop for construction as crews work to shore up the bank of the Androscoggin River.

The deputy said no charges will be filed.

“The crash was the consequence of circumstances — [the sun and] a construction site that people weren’t aware of,” he said. “Drivers should be aware of ongoing construction and slow down. [The construction] will continue for several months, if not a year.”