HOLDEN, Maine — Three people suffered serious injuries and traffic on the highway connecting Bangor with Mount Desert Island was backed up for miles after a trio of vehicles crashed Saturday morning, according to police.
Holden police Sgt. Eugene Fizell said Monday the accident, which occurred around 10:15 a.m., backed up eastbound traffic on Route 1A as far back as Interstate 395.
“There was very heavy traffic on Route 1A in both directions,” Fizell said.
The sequence of events started when Norman Murray, 57, of Levant, who was driving west in a GMC Jimmy, didn’t realize that a line of vehicles in front of him had stopped and struck the back end of a Toyota driven by Oscar Martinez-Sanchez, 42, of Holden, according to Fizell.
The impact sent the Toyota into the breakdown lane, but Murray’s SUV shot into eastbound traffic and struck a second Toyota head-on, this one driven by Donald Steeves, 53, of Kenduskeag, the sergeant said.
Steeves, who was riding with his wife, Cheryl, 51, and Betsy Roy, both of Kenduskeag, was heading east, according to Fizell. Roy’s age was not available.
Murray had no passengers. Martinez-Sanchez’s wife, Ana Mendoza-Salazar, 39, and the couple’s two 7-year old children were passengers in Martinez-Sanchez’s car, the sergeant said.
Murray’s SUV came to a stop in the parking lot of Holden Plaza, while both Toyotas came to rest on the side of the road, Fizell said.
Murray, Martinez-Sanchez, Mendoza-Salazar and the children were not seriously injured, but Roy and both Steeves had to be extricated from their vehicle, the sergeant said. Holden and Dedham firefighters had to cut the roof off to free the trio.
Both the Steeves and Roy suffered serious injuries that were not considered life-threatening and were transported to Eastern Maine Medical Center, Fizell said, while Murray was treated and released at EMMC.
Martinez-Sanchez and his wife were treated and released at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bangor. Their children were not injured.
The accident prompted police to shut down Route 1A in both directions for about two hours, Fizell said, which hindered eastbound traffic heading toward the coast on the sunny weekend.
Westbound traffic was backed up for about a mile from the scene, Fizell said.
Fizell said Penobscot County sheriff’s deputies assisted in the investigation, but the sergeant does not anticipate charges being filed. All three vehicles were demolished.