Five Injured in Whiteout
Five people were injured in whiteout conditions on Saturday. Police say none of the injuries was life-threatening. As another winter storm spreads across the state, motorists are reminded to use caution.
Maine State Police say the accident happened at around 4:00 Saturday afternoon on Route 1 in Bridgewater. 51-year-old Daniel Thibeault of Lewiston and his family were traveling southbound when his Toyota Tacoma got stuck in a snow drift at the top of Bunker Hill. Thibeault had just managed to get his vehicle unstuck, with help from a nearby resident, when the pickup was hit by a Toyota Corolla, driven by Brandon Greaves, age 30 from Littleton. Greaves, who was also traveling southbound, couldn't see the Tacoma until it was too late, due to whiteout conditions.
One passenger from Thibeault's vehicle and one from Greaves' vehicle were taken to Houlton Regional Hospital by ambulance for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Traffic on Route 1 was shut down for around 3 hours while police investigated and then cleared the scene.
The BDN reports, about 45 minutes later, in roughly the same location, a Kia Sedan driven by Michael Fortenberry, age 47 of Rhode Island was in a line of cars that had been stopped by the first accident. While waiting for traffic to move, his vehicle was rear-ended by a pickup rear-ended by Real Oakes Jr., age 45 of Presque Isle. Fortenberry and his two passengers, including a 6-year-old girl were taken to Houlton Regional Hospital with what were believed to be non-life threatening injuries. No one in Oakes vehicle was injured.
MDOT plow trucks were called in to plow the drifting snow from the roadway in the area. The roads were also treated when several tractor trailers were unable to travel up the hill due to the icy conditions. Assisting the State Police were the Aroostook County Sheriff's office, Maine Department of Transportation, Monticello Fire Department, Bridgewater Fire Department, and Crown Ambulance.