Speed through work zone cited as factor in 5-vehicle crash on I-95

Posted Nov. 26, 2013, at 6:15 p.m.

HAMPDEN, Maine — Despite an estimated $30,000 to $40,000 in damage, no one was injured in a five-vehicle pileup in the southbound lanes of Interstate 95.

The accident happened about 2:45 p.m., just south of the Coldbrook Road exit, where the Maine Department of Transportation had temporarily closed a lane for a project, Trooper Chris Hashey of the Maine State Police said early Tuesday evening.

That resulted in a bottleneck as motorists were funneled into the passing lane, he said. The driver of a Ford sedan who was trying to merge into traffic from the offramp at that time encountered the bottleneck and abruptly stopped in the path of a Ford Ranger.

The driver of the Ranger tried to stop the truck to avoid a collision with the sedan but instead wound up spinning out and hitting a guardrail, Hashey said. The Ranger and the sedan then were both struck by a GMC pickup.

As all that was unfolding, a minivan belonging to a local funeral home came upon the crash site and managed to stop — only to be struck from behind by a Ford Explorer, Hashey said.

All five of the vehicles involved had to be towed off the highway, he said.

Hashey said that the chain-reaction crash was the result of motorists driving too fast for conditions and following too closely. The accident remains under investigation, he said.