August 7, 2010

4-car accident barricades I-95; occupants suffer minor injury

Kennebec Journal Staff

AUGUSTA -- Six people escaped serious injury after a frightening four-car accident snarled Interstate 95 traffic in both directions for about an hour Friday.

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COLLISION: Traffic is directed around a vehicle that collided with another car Friday afternoon in the southbound lane of the Maine Turnpike in Augusta. The accident, which occurred just after 2 p.m. north of the Western Avenue exit, stopped traffic in both directions as the injured were removed from the vehicles.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

Traffic was brought to a standstill as rescuers tended to the injured in a crash that occurred at 2:18 p.m. near Exit 109.

Maine State Police Trooper Rick Moody said the incident occurred when a red Mercury Mountaineer sport utility vehicle being driven north by Kathy Williams, 44, of Windham, who was with her daughter, Keisha Williams, 16, was passing a gold Buick LeSabre being driven by Ronny Perrault, 69, of Waterville, who was with his wife, Rose Perrault.

Moody said the two vehicles made contact, sending the Williamses' car tumbling into the southbound lanes of I-95.

A sport utility vehicle -- operated by Eric Loman, 29, of Ansonia, Conn. -- approaching in the southbound lanes swerved to avoid Williams' vehicle, rolled and came to a rest upside down in a ditch near Exit 109, where Loman became entrapped.

Rescuers freed him. He was taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center with minor injuries, Moody said.

Meanwhile, the northbound Perrault vehicle came away from the impact with the Williams vehicle and struck the rear of a white Buick being driven north by Christos Karagiannes, 86, of Augusta.

The Williamses were taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center with minor injuries, Moody said. Karagiannes and the Perraults were treated at the scene and released.

The accident was still under investigation late Friday afternoon. Moody said he was trying to determine whether the Williams vehicle or the Perrault vehicle initiated contact. No charges were anticipated.

Southbound traffic was stopped until shortly after 3 p.m., when the Williams vehicle -- which came to rest across both travel lanes -- was removed. Northbound traffic continued to roll in the passing lane throughout the rescue effort.

Traffic backed up as far as the eye could see in both directions while the rescue effort was unfolding. State and Augusta police and Augusta Fire and Rescue officers responded.

Staff Writers Craig Crosby and Bob Mentzinger contributed tothis report.

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