PALMYRA – A deluge of rain early Thursday caused a series of crashes on Interstate 95 that left two drivers injured, one seriously, and four vehicles either demolished or badly damaged.
The first of the three crashes happened at 6:40 a.m. when Dawn Moore, 31, of Portland was southbound and hydroplaned in heavy rain. She lost control of her 2004 Ford Focus at mile marker 153. The vehicle slid into the median where it rolled over several times and landed on its roof.
Maine State Police Trooper Bruce Scott said Moore suffered only a minor injury. “She said she was extremely comforted by the fact that her seat belt worked and kept her right in the car,” Scott said.
Scott, Pittsfield Fire Department and Sebasticook Valley Ambulance went to the scene of the accident.
One firefighter commented, “It’s like a river out here” because of heavy rain, and Scott said that he was forced to stay at 55 mph while going to the accident scene.
“It was raining quite heavily, and visibility was very poor,” he said.
Less than an hour later, responders were back on I-95, one mile south of the first crash at mile marker 154, where Carrie Hart, 43, of Bangor also hydroplaned her 2000 Saturn station wagon, which overturned in the median and slammed sideways into a tree. The car landed back on its wheels.
It took rescuers more than an hour to extricate Hart from the car. Scott said Hart’s injuries were not life-threatening.
Newport Rescue also assisted at Hart’s crash.
While workers were struggling to extricate Hart, an “accident ahead” sign was demolished by a motorist, and two other cars collided when they attempted to merge to avoid the accident scene. No one else was injured.
Scott blamed all three accidents on unsafe speed for the road conditions.