FREEPORT, Maine — A broken-down school bus pulled to the shoulder of Interstate 295 triggered a series of collisions involving a fully-loaded oil tanker, a tractor trailer and a couple of cars, but all involved escaped injury.
At about 2:30 p.m. Friday, Maine State Police were notified of a crash involving buses, an oil tanker and a tractor trailer on I-295 northbound in Freeport, Trooper Doug Cropper said.
A private bus operated by Poland Bus Company broke down on a small hill while taking children to camp, and another bus was just arriving to pick up the kids when the first crash occurred.
As drivers crested the hill, they slowed when they saw the buses, Cropper said, but the driver of an Irving Oil tank wasn’t able to stop fast enough “and ended up putting the tanker over an embankment and right up against the ledges.”
A right front tire, as well as a metal box surrounding a major valve to the tanker, were damaged. Although the tanker was loaded with 2,300 gallons of oil, Cropper said, it did not leak.
At the same time, a green GMC pickup truck struck a silver Chevrolet HHR, which was then pushed into the side of a Sysco tractor-trailer hauling food.
No injuries were reported and no citations were issued.
“It just wasn’t a great location for a bus to break down, but what are you going to do?” he said. “People were doing the right thing, braking for the broken-down school bus, but with the location of the hill … It could’ve been real bad. If that bus had been hit, who knows?”
Police closed one lane of traffic until about 4:15 p.m. to clear the crash, according to Cropper.