A 56-year-old Jay man died Monday afternoon when his small box truck ran into the rear of a tractor-trailer truck on Interstate 95 in Etna, according to state police.
Joseph Lawler died at the scene of the collision, which occurred shortly after 2 p.m. at the top of a small hill at mile 165 in the southbound lane, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said Monday evening.
A half dozen passersby stopped at the crash site, including three nurses, and attempted to administer first aid to Lawler, who was trapped in the wreckage. He died before an ambulance arrived.
Troopers said the tractor trailer that Lawler struck was being driven by Paul Bean Jr., 55, of Corinth, who was hauling small pieces of granite. Bean had just pulled into the travel lane after having stopped along the breakdown lane.
The southbound lanes of the interstate were shut down for 3-1/2 hours. Southbound traffic was detoured at the Etna exit but dozens of vehicles were stuck on the highway for the duration, McCausland said.
The southbound lanes were reopened about 6 p.m., he said.
The tractor-trailer is owned by WT Rand and the box truck was being leased by Fred’s Coffee.
Troopers said there are no known witnesses to the crash but that three tractor-trailers had just passed Bean’s truck moments before the crash. Police are asking for anyone who may have seen what happened to call the Maine State Police Barracks in Bangor at 973-3700.
Watch bangordailynews.com for updates.