Six cars involved in accident that shut down Route 1 in Westfield on St. Patrick’s Day

Posted March 18, 2013, at 6:12 p.m.

WESTFIELD, Maine — Six cars were involved in an accident that closed a section of Route 1 for several hours on St. Patrick’s Day and sent two people to a Presque Isle hospital with minor injuries.

Sgt. Forrest Dudley of the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement released Monday evening that the accident took place just after 2 p.m. Sunday.

Karen Higgins, 59, who Dudley said lives in southern Maine, was northbound on the roadway in her 2013 Volkswagen Beetle.

A vehicle had stopped in front of her due to white out conditions caused by high winds, forcing Higgins to stop, according to Dudley.

Then Anand Subramaniam, 38, of Canada stopped behind Higgins in her 2011 Chevrolet Traverse.

Austin Caverhill, 16, of Mars Hill was unable to see the Traverse in time and drove his Toyota Camry into the rear of Subramaniam’s vehicle, pushing it into Higgins’ vehicle.

Nashali Parks, 18, of Bridgewater, also was northbound on the roadway in a 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier. She did not see Caverhill’s vehicle until it was too late and drove into it, pushing it off the roadway and into a snowbank.

Finally, Jason Forbes, 38, of Castle Hill, who also was heading north, attempted to avoid the accident with his vehicle, but ended up hitting Subramaniam’s Traverse. The release did not indicate what Forbes was driving and Dudley could not be reached for comment Monday evening.

A passenger in Caverhill’s vehicle, Brent McKeen, and Caverhill were transported by Crown Ambulance to The Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle where they were treated for minor injuries.

Caverhill’s vehicle and Parks’ vehicle were considered total losses. Subramaniam’s vehicle was towed from the scene due to damage, according to Dudley. Higgins’ vehicle and Forbes’ vehicle were able to be driven from the scene.

Dudley said that the accident is being attributed to weather and road conditions, with the high winds causing whiteout conditions that made it difficult for drivers to see.

Route 1 was closed for approximately two hours on Sunday evening. The accident is being investigated by Dudley, who was assisted at the scene by Aroostook County Sheriff’s Deputy Ross McQuade, the Maine Warden Service, the Maine State Police, and members of the Mars Hill and Presque Isle fire departments.

There are no charges pending from the accident, the release said.

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