Yesterday, Sept. 6, Maine State Police and Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department responded to a car on fire on the interstate in Sidney. That incident led to multiple crashes.
From the Maine State Police:
On Wednesday, September 6, 2023 at 3:40 pm, State Police received a report of vehicle on fire on I-95 northbound at MM119.5 in Sidney. A Kennebec County Sheriff’s Deputy and State Trooper both arrived within minutes to find a white 2013 Chrysler 300 fully engulfed in flames. The operator and sole occupant 46-year-old Gerald Foss of Winslow had managed to pull over the vehicle into the right breakdown lane and escape the car. Troopers worked with Maine DOT to request traffic advisory signs be activated to give notice to the motoring public of the fire ahead. Traffic was reduced to one lane with the passing lane open. Smoke could be seen from a distance. As vehicles were entering into the traffic that was slowing down the Trooper and Deputy observed a secondary multiple vehicle crash delaying the fire department. Upon arrival, the Sidney Fire Department quickly extinguished the flames. Ready Road Service responded and towed the vehicle. The vehicle was a total loss.
At approximately 3:47 pm there was a 4-vehicle crash at I-95 northbound at MM 119 in Sidney. This crash was caused as a result of the fully engulfed car fire about half a mile north of this location. Traffic was attempting to merge into the passing lane which resulted in a slow in traffic. A loaded 18-wheeler hauling debris materials failed to slow down in traffic in time and subsequently struck three other vehicles in front of him pushing them all off the roadway. One person in one of the vehicles was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. This secondary crash caused all flow of traffic to come to a complete stop in both lanes until additional Troopers arrived and were able to open one lane. The crash was cleared in just under an hour.
At approximately 3:47 pm as traffic continued to back up for miles, a third crash involving four vehicles was reported on I-95 northbound near MM 118 in Sidney. When Troopers arrived four vehicles were sitting along the left shoulder and partially in the passing lane. The passing lane was shut down to traffic. Initial investigation indicates that the driver of the first vehicle, a black 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee was traveling northbound in the left lane when vehicles ahead of her braked. The driver stated she rear-ended the vehicle in front of her causing a chain reaction crash. Four people were transported to the hospital with minor injuries.