A large crash on I-95 caused by roadkill snarled traffic on March 18, 2022. Credit: Courtesy of the Maine State Police

A dead porcupine caused a nine-vehicle crash on Interstate 95 North Friday morning that closed the interstate for hours and sent three people to the hospital. 

A portion of I-95 was closed for more than three hours Friday morning after the driver of a Dodge Caliber swerved to avoid a porcupine that was in the road and over-corrected, sending the vehicle into a ditch around 8:15 a.m, according to Maine State Police spokesperson Katherine England. 

A second crash happened moments later involving a tractor-trailer, causing traffic to come to a grinding halt during the morning rush hour. 

A second tractor-trailer that was rounding the bend on I-95 then failed to avoid the slow-moving traffic and struck several stopped vehicles. Those vehicles then struck even more, resulting in nine vehicles in total being hit Friday morning. 

Despite the large number of vehicles involved in the crash only two people were transported by ambulance to St. Joseph’s Hospital to be treated and released. One person was taken to a nearby hospital by their employer. 

The Maine State Police were assisted by the Bangor Fire Department, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Maine State Police Commercial Vehicle Unit. One lane of traffic was opened soon after the crashes and the roadway was completely open by 11:30 a.m.

State police are still investigating but no charges are expected, England said. 

Sawyer Loftus is an investigative reporter at the Bangor Daily News. A graduate of the University of Vermont, Sawyer grew up in Vermont where he worked for Vermont Public Radio, The Burlington Free Press...