March 21, 2012

Traffic continues to stall around Bowdoinham butter truck crash

BOWDOINHAM — Crews worked feverishly in an early spring heat wave today to unload 20 tons of butter from a tractor-trailer truck that crashed through a guardrail and plowed through the woods in the median on Interstate 295.

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CLEAN UP ACT: CleanHarbors employee Keith Wilson vacuums fuel Wednesday from a tractor trailer that went off Interstate 95 in the northbound lane in Bowdoinham and came to rest in the woods. The driver was uninjured.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

The ongoing cleanup is expected to disrupt both north and southbound traffic during the evening commute.

Maine State Police Trooper Niles Krech said nobody was hurt in the crash, but 40,000 pounds of butter had to be removed from the wrecked trailer into a new rig.

“They’re doing their best to salvage all of it,” Krech said as trucking company employees used a skid steer to transfer the butter. “They’re saying they can keep it cool enough.”

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection also responded to mop up more than 100 gallons of fuel oil that spilled from the truck’s fuel tanks.

The crash occurred shortly after 8 a.m., as the 2007 Volvo semi truck, owned by West Springfield, Mass.-based  A-C Motor Express, was heading north in the right lane on Interstate 295.

The driver, Kevin Bryant, 41, of Chicopee, Mass., lost control and crossed over the left lane, punched through a guard rail, crossed over a long section of grass and then continued about 100 feet into the woods.

“You can’t even see the truck from 295,” Krech said.

Bryant told police he fell asleep. He was not wearing a seat belt, Krech said.

Bryant was standing beside the interstate when rescue crews arrived. He was taken to an area hospital to be evaluated but was not injured in the crash, Krech said.

The State Police Commercial Vehicles Unit responded to the crash. Charges against Bryant are possible, Krech said.

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