PORTLAND, Maine — Police are blaming freezing rain and light snow for five accidents that killed six people on Maine roads over the holiday weekend.
Police say an accident at around 8 a.m. Saturday killed two men when their van crashed on an ice-covered road in Gardiner. Four other people were killed in separate accidents in Bowdoin, Edinburg, Cornville and Lovell.
The victims in the Gardiner crash were identified as 62-year-old Dennis Kay of Gardiner and 25-year-old Carlton Norwood of Pittston.
Police said 45-year-old Andrew Klaiber of Topsham was killed Saturday afternoon in Bowdoin.
Also Saturday, a 63-year-old Nova Scotia woman who was a passenger died in a one-car crash on Interstate 95 in Edinburgh.
State Police say Aizhi Gao from Halifax was the last person to die on Maine roads in 2011.
The car was driven by her daughter, Xiao Lin Deng, 40, also from Halifax, who lost control while passing another vehicle, Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety wrote in a press release.
The car skidded across both northbound lanes and struck a tree off the breakdown lane.
Also this weekend, an accident in Lovell left a Norway man dead.
The Oxford County Sheriff’s department said that Eric Blades was killed when the 2003 Dodge Caravan he was a passenger in rolled over and hit a utility pole at around 10:35 a.m. Sunday.
Katrina Alberry of Norway was driving the van west on Shave Hill Road in Lovell. As the vehicle rounded a curve, she lost control on the ice-covered road. The vehicle skidded right over the road’s shoulder, where it rolled over and struck the pole.
There were three adults and two children in the van. Blades, 30, was pronounced dead at the scene. Alberry, her husband and two children were all transported to the Bridgton Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.
State police reconstructionist Dan Hanson assisted at the scene as well as the Lovell Fire Department and several area rescue units.