AUGUSTA, Maine — State troopers were busy Sunday night and into Monday dealing with multiple accidents involving tractor-trailers and icy roadways.
State police reported Monday that three tractor-trailers went off Route 9 in separate incidents in Hancock County, and two other accidents occurred along Interstate 95 in Augusta overnight Sunday.
Route 9 between the intersections of Route 179 in Aurora and Route 193 in Beddington was closed much of the day but reopened at about 4 p.m., according to Maine State Police Sgt. Jeff Ingemi.
The first of the three Hancock County accidents was reported at 4:30 a.m., according to Ingemi.
The sergeant said the road was shut down so wreckers could have space to pull the trucks — all 18-wheelers — back onto the roadway. By 4 p.m., two of the big rigs had been removed, but he said the third would not be pulled out until sometime Tuesday.
None of the drivers was seriously injured. Ingemi said the road was slick at the time of the accidents, but road conditions improved as the day progressed.
One lane remained open along Interstate 95 on Monday on the Bond Brook overpass after a tractor-trailer accident overnight destroyed a 30-foot section of the bridge’s guardrail.
Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said Monday morning the wrecked rig had been removed, but there was no timetable as to when both lanes of the northbound side would reopen. “The bridge will remain one lane for some time,” he said.
Anna Tronscosco-Williams, 22, of Indiana was driving the empty flatbed tractor-trailer when she lost control on the icy interstate and struck the guardrail, according to McCausland.
Tronscosco-Williams was not hurt and no charges were filed, he said.
The impact of the accident ripped the front axle from the truck and sent it tumbling to Bond Brook Road below, and the truck’s fuel tanks ripped open, spilling fuel on the road.
The tractor portion of the truck was destroyed, and combined damage to the truck and bridge would likely be several hundred thousand dollars, he said.
In addition, northbound traffic on the interstate between Exits 113 and 120 was diverted for much of the day in Augusta because of another overnight tractor-trailer crash in Sidney, McCausland said later Monday.
The tractor-trailer was left off the roadway until wreckers could tow it, McCausland said. Motorists were being rerouted at Exit 113.
The truck’s driver, Mohammed Syed, 47, of Orlando was en route to Presque Isle with large rolls of paper at the time of the crash, according to McCausland.
Syed swerved to avoid a pickup that had braked in front of him, McCausland said. The pickup’s driver, Spencer Thornton, 23, of Skowhegan, was not injured, as Syed managed to steer his rig away from the pickup after tapping its bumper, McCausland noted. Syed had some minor cuts and bruises but refused medical attention.
Trooper Jesse Duda witnessed the crash and was able to kick out the big rig’s windshield so Syed could get out. No violations were cited.
McCausland expected the road to reopen sometime after 4 p.m.
McCausland also said that at least 20 passenger vehicles were damaged along I-95 by flying pieces of ice and snow coming off other vehicles.
No injuries were reported, but damage included broken windshields and cracked grills. McCausland urged motorists to make sure their vehicles are free of ice and snow before driving on the road.