BANGOR, Maine — A Veazie man who was ejected from his SUV Tuesday while attempting to drive around a tractor-trailer whose driver allegedly made an illegal maneuver on Interstate 95 remained in critical condition at a Bangor hospital on Wednesday.
Brian Richardson, 33, suffered life-threatening injuries in the crash, which occurred about 6 p.m. Tuesday in the northbound lanes at mile marker 180 near the Coldbrook Road exit, Maine State Police Trooper Adam Gould said Wednesday.
Gould said that the crash occurred when a tractor-trailer driver attempted to use an “authorized vehicle” turnout used by law enforcement and the Department of Transportation in order to reverse his direction of travel after missing the Coldbrook Road exit, slowing down in order to do so.
Richardson, who had been traveling behind the semi at what witnesses said was a safe distance, was forced to drive around it. He then struck a guardrail and was ejected from his Chevrolet Trailblazer, Gould said.
Previous reports incorrectly indicated that the tractor-trailer had rolled over.
Gould said that Richardson underwent emergency surgery after the crash and that his injuries included a fractured spine and wrist as well as head trauma.
It was not yet clear Wednesday if Richardson was wearing a seat belt. Gould said that family members indicated that Richardson regularly wore his seat belt and that a vehicle examination being conducted Wednesday evening could help determine if the safety belt had somehow failed.
The tractor-trailer driver, 49-year-old Dario Dosen of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, was arrested on a charge of aggravated driving to endanger, according to a news release issued by the state police early Wednesday evening.
He remained at Penobscot County Jail on Wednesday night, a jail official said. He is being held on $10,000 cash bail.
Gould said that Dosen was driving in the United States on a work visa. He allegedly told state police that he believed he was allowed to use the crossover road because he was permitted to do so while driving in Canada.
Gould said Wednesday that he had not yet been able to verify if that was the case.
Dosen, who was hauling watermelons when the crash occurred, was not injured. There was no damage to the rig he was driving.
State police were assisted on the scene by the Penobscot Sheriff’s Office, the Maine Department of Transportation, the Hampden police and fire departments and the Penobscot County district attorney’s office.