Poor visibility, black ice lead to Sunday morning crashes, including 8-vehicle accident on I-95

Posted Nov. 17, 2013, at 11:12 a.m.
Last modified Nov. 17, 2013, at 4:27 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Black ice and fog caused problems on Maine roads Sunday morning.

Penobscot Regional Communications Center had a hectic morning, dispatching police and rescue crews to about a dozen accidents, including one in the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 in Old Town that involved eight or nine vehicles, according to Michael Azevedo, a supervisor at PRCC.

Fog hindered visibility early Sunday morning and also contributed to some wet spots on roads, which quickly froze.

“It just greased up in spots,” Azevedo said. “It is that time of year, no one’s thinking black ice yet.”

Azevedo said there also were accidents in Carmel, Alton, Holden and elsewhere.

Sgt. David Millett of Maine State Police said Sunday afternoon that there were at least 14 crashes on I-95 alone between Old Town and Newport on Sunday morning.

It appears most of the accidents were minor, though at least one woman was taken to the hospital after suffering a leg injury.

There were at least two accidents in Orono. Around 7 a.m., a driver crashed his vehicle into a utility pole on College Avenue but did not need to be taken to the hospital, according to Orono police Officer Chase Haass.

Haass said he was on his way to that crash when he was dispatched to another accident, just over the Veazie town line near American Concrete on Stillwater Avenue, instead.

The driver, who was headed toward Veazie, lost control of her 2004 Chevy Classic and crashed into a boggy area. The vehicle ended up on its side, according to Haass. The driver suffered a minor head injury and was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center as a precaution, according to Haass.

“There was quite an issue with black ice this morning,” he said.

Haass said he did not have the names of the drivers available.

Maine State Police officials weren’t immediately available Sunday to provide more information about the morning pileup in Old Town or others that were reported in the Newport area and other parts of the interstate.

Millett encouraged drivers to keep an eye on the temperature as they start their commutes.

“Slow down and test the roads,” he said.

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