December 15, 2019
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Maine traffic deaths hit 101 for 2017; up from 88 last year

Trooper Michael Smith | Maine State Police
Trooper Michael Smith | Maine State Police
A tractor trailer driver was killed in a rollover crash on I-295 in Freeport late Thursday night.

A 16-year-old girl whose car collided with a dump truck in Pittston was the 101st person to die this year on Maine roads, according to a state official.

As of Sept. 1, 2016, 88 people had been killed, according to Lauren Stewart, director of the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety.

Of the 101 deaths this year, 22 occurred in August, she said. That is nearly double the 12 highway deaths in August 2016.

The number of traffic fatalities rose to 101 on Friday with news of the death of Tabytha Hembree. The 16 year old was driving to school early Thursday morning with her 12-year-old brother, Alex Hembree, when she pulled out in front of a dump truck at the intersection of Route 27 and the Old Cedar Grove Road, police said Thursday.

[Maine teen dies after dump truck crash on first day of school]

The 100th traffic fatality was Dana Thibeault, 52, of Durham. He was headed south on Interstate 295 near the Desert Road overpass in Freeport when his tractor-trailer, which was not hauling a trailer, collided with a van that had swerved to miss a deer, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The two vehicles went off the road and rolled over.

The driver and occupant of the van, Mark and Marie Fleming of Cape Elizabeth, both 52, were taken to a local hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Their conditions were not immediately available Friday morning.

Steward reminded drivers to be extra cautious over the Labor Day weekend.

Five people died over the holiday weekend last year in Maine traffic accidents.

Many law enforcement agencies, including the Maine State Police, will have extra police out enforcing traffic laws over the weekend, she said.

BDN writer Beth Brogan contributed to this report.

 



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