Vehicle knocks utility pole onto road, slows Route 1 traffic

Posted May 12, 2014, at 12:39 p.m.
Last modified May 12, 2014, at 7:32 p.m.

VERONA ISLAND, Maine — A single-car accident here Monday morning knocked a utility pole down across the road, causing traffic delays on Route 1, according to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department.

An Augusta man was driving east to Trenton at around 11 a.m., when he became distracted and drove off the right side of the road, according to Deputy Sheriff Shane Campbell. The car struck a pole at the intersection of Route 1 and West Side Road, where the road takes a sharp left turn, knocking the pole down into the eastbound lane, Campbell said.

The driver, Herman Paul, 86, and his wife, Marcia Paul, 83, suffered minor injuries when air bags in their car deployed, according to the deputy. Both were wearing seat belts. The two were taken at their request to Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast to be checked out, he said.

Their car, a 2013 Buick sedan, was demolished in the accident, Campbell said.

The deputy said the westbound lane remained open to alternating directions of traffic while response crews worked to clean up the damage in the eastbound lane. He said traffic flow past the accident scene was expected to remain slow for several hours.

According to area emergency dispatchers, local response crews were still at the accident scene at around 5 p.m.

The intersection is just east of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge. The nearest bridge across the Penobscot River is between Bangor and Brewer, more than 20 miles to the north.

Gail Rice, spokeswoman for Central Maine Power, said 116 of the company’s customers on Verona Island lost power due to the accident. By 5 p.m. that number had been reduced to about a dozen customers, according to information posted on the CMP website.

As of 6 p.m., service to all the affected CMP customers was restored, and response crews were able to leave the area.

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