A chain reaction crash on Interstate 95 on Friday night involved 11 vehicles. Credit: Courtesy of Maine State Police

Freezing rain caught motorists by surprise on Friday night, which caused a chain reaction crash on Interstate 95 that involved 11 vehicles.

The crash involved nine cars, a tow truck and a tractor-trailer on the highway near Pittsfield and Palmyra, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

It all started when a car skidded off the road, and police and a tow truck were called to the scene. The interstate soon became covered in ice. As other vehicles entered the crash zone, the drivers were unable to slow down, McCausland said.

“Troopers escorted motorists from their crashed vehicles to the high embankment along the road for their safety as vehicles continued to crash,” McCausland said.

One motorist had minor injuries and was checked by medical personnel at the scene.

The secondary crashes blocked both northbound lanes, which were closed for two hours as vehicles were towed away. That traffic was redirected off the interstate while the roads were being treated, McCausland said.

Freezing rain, the ice-covered highway and motorists going too fast for conditions were all contributing factors to the crashes, McCausland said.