HAMPDEN, Maine — An SUV going the wrong way on Interstate 95 on Sunday slammed into a pickup truck, killing both drivers, state police said.
Both drivers were male, and police were working to identify the victims and notify their relatives, according to a news release from the state police.
The incident occurred on I-95’s southbound side near the exit to Carmel and Newburgh at about 7 p.m. It forced state police to close the highway in that area and reroute traffic at the Coldbrook Road exit, state police and witnesses said.
The southbound lanes were reopened overnight.
State police troopers were tracking reports of a silver SUV going north on the southbound side of the highway when the accident was reported, McCausland said.
Michael Rocque, director of research at the Maine Department of Corrections, reported via Twitter a “car going very fast the wrong way on 95. Almost hit me.” The 30-year-old said he was 2 miles north of the Dixmont exit driving his father-in-law home to Troy from a University of Maine baseball game when he saw the SUV.
“I was in the right-hand lane and there wasn’t a lot of traffic,” Rocque said. “It was one of those things that really didn’t register because it almost seemed like a regular two-lane highway. It looked like it was going at a normal highway speed.”
Rocque said he didn’t see any of the panic or hesitancy that he expected would mark the travel of a driver knowingly going the wrong way. He never saw the driver, he said.
“If I had been trying to pass someone there was really very little I could have done,” Rocque said.
Neighbors living on North County Road said they heard a loud bang and didn’t know what it was until they ventured from their homes and saw the smoking vehicles, said Trever Kohls, 19, of Hampden.
“From what you can see, both air bags deployed,” said Kohls, who was visiting his parents on North County Road when the crash occurred.
It wasn’t clear to Kohls which vehicle was going the wrong way, he said.
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