EDINBURG, Maine — Two East Millinocket Fire Department ambulance workers and a patient were inside an ambulance that went off Interstate 95 and rolled over in icy conditions on Monday, officials said.
The East Millinocket and Lincoln Fire Department ambulance was southbound taking a patient to a Bangor hospital when it slid off the west side of the road near mile marker 214 and rolled once before coming to a stop on its wheels about 9:45 a.m., Trooper Trevor Snow said.
“They are heavy [which provides good traction] but they are also top-heavy so in conditions where other vehicles would just slide off the roadway their momentum can carry them over,” Snow said. “A more top-heavy vehicle is more likely to go over.”
Driver Louis Perreault, an emergency medical technician, of East Millinocket didn’t believe he was hurt but went to Eastern Maine Medical Center of Bangor as a precaution. Paramedic Harvey Frederick of Cary “complained of some pain,” Snow said. The patient, whom Snow did not identify, suffered no additional injuries.
A hospital official couldn’t immediately determine whether Perrault and Frederick had been admitted. They and their patient were wearing seat belts or were otherwise properly secured, Snow said.
Howland Fire Chief Phil Dawson, whose department handled the accident, and Lincoln Public Safety Director Dan Summers could provide no further details. East Millinocket firefighters referred comment to Fire Capt. Peter Larlee, who came to the accident scene, and Fire Chief Les Brown. Neither were available on Monday afternoon.
The East Millinocket and Lincoln fire departments’ ambulance service, which covers 14 northern Penobscot County towns including Lincoln, Lee, East Millinocket and Medway, was launched in July. It fills a niche created when Penobscot Valley Hospital of Lincoln dropped its ambulance service.
The accident was among dozens reported during Monday morning’s rush and after more than 50 reported Sunday night along I-95. Light snowfall, slush and temperatures hovering at the freezing mark made icy conditions dangerously unpredictable, officials said.
A two-mile section of I-95 in Newport was closed for about two hours and a Biddeford man reportedly died as a result of a crash on I-95 in Township 2, Range 9 on Sunday night. A fatality also was reported on Riverside Drive in Auburn on Monday morning.
Monday’s conditions on I-95 created far fewer accidents than Sunday’s but emergency responders still were busy, Snow said. A pickup truck towing a horse trailer and a horse slid into a guardrail near mile marker 219 on I-95’s southbound side about 15 minutes before the ambulance rollover. The man, woman and horse involved were not injured, state police said.
No charges will be filed against Perrault in connection with the accident, which clearly was caused only by weather and road conditions, Snow said.
Correction: A previous version of this story said the accident occurred in Argyle. It occurred in Edinburg.