The southbound lanes of Interstate 95 were closed between Etna and Newport late Tuesday afternoon after slick driving conditions caused a tractor-trailer to jackknife across the highway and at least 20 other cars to slide off the road.
As of 4 p.m., police were instructing drivers to leave Interstate 95 southbound at Route 143 in Etna, then follow Route 2 back to an on-ramp in Newport, said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.
A couple of inches of snow fell across the state on Tuesday, causing other minor crashes, including in the Bangor, Waterville and Augusta areas.
McCausland said about 20 or 25 vehicles slid off Interstate 95 in the area between Etna and Newport, but by 4 p.m., police had helped many of them back onto the road and were devoting most of their energies to the crashed tractor-trailer.
A man who drove through that area earlier in the afternoon, Greg Hartford of Dexter, said he counted about 30 cars that had left the road along a milelong stretch of highway.
Some people suffered minor injuries as a result of the crashes, McCausland said.
Tuesday afternoon was not the first time that stretch of Interstate 95 created grief for drivers who were negotiating snowy conditions.
Most famously, more than 100 cars were ensnared in a pileup crash around there three years ago.