17 Injured in Massive Highway Pileup

Maine State Police say 75 vehicles were involved in a massive pileup on Interstate 95 in Etna

A massive 75-vehicle pileup on snowy Interstate 95 in Maine left 17 people injured on Wednesday morning, state police say.

The series of crashes, involving a school bus, a tractor-trailer and many cars, happened around 7:30 a.m. in Etna amid heavy snow, state police spokesman Steve McCausland said.

The main crash involved over 25 vehicles, and there were a series of other wrecks leading up to that site. No fatalities were reported, but McCausland says some of the injuries were serious.

"I did a 180 and was face to face with the second semi coming at me," Peggy Leonard told the Bangor Daily News. "I have never seen anything like this in my life." 

Steve McCausland

One veteran state trooper described the crash site as a "giant pile of metal." Fifty cars were towed and another 25 were damaged.

The Bangor Daily News said the school bus involved in the crash was transporting two students and an aide to Stillwater Academy in Old Town. Two high school students suffered a scraped chin and a sprained thumb, respectively.

State police said all of the injured were taken to Bangor hospitals. There were no serious injuries, but people suffered broken bones, aches, cuts and bruises.

Weather was believed to be a major factor in the accident. Heavy snow was falling at the time of the crash, and visibility was extremely limited, according to NECN Chief Meteorologist Matt Noyes.

"The snow squall that came through the area has dissipated," McCausland said. "It's my understanding that most of the wrecks occurred during blinding snow this morning that caught most people by surprise."

Both northbound lanes on the 30-mile stretch of highway were closed for hours, and drivers were told to take exits in Etna and Newport to avoid the area. A fleet of wreckers worked to remove the damaged vehicles and troopers were able to open up one lane of I-95 north around 12:30 p.m., and all lanes were reopened around 4:45 p.m. 

Content from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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