"Initial reports say blinding sun may have caused the first crash about 7:45 AM, and then several other vehicles collided in a chain reaction," police said

By Claudia Harmata
January 07, 2020 11:52 AM

Several hundred commuters were stranded on Interstate 95 in Carmel, Maine, due to a 30-car pileup Tuesday morning, the Maine State Police confirmed.

Authorities reported some injuries, including one serious injury, due to the massive crash. The individual was transported to a Bangor hospital with a Life Flight helicopter that landed on the road north of the crash site.

“Initial reports say blinding sun may have caused the first crash about 7:45 AM, and then several other vehicles collided in a chain reaction,” police said in a statement to PEOPLE.

Public information officer Stephen McCausland says 30 vehicles were involved in the crash itself, but several more were stuck behind the pileup.

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Maine State Police

“Several hundred motorists have been stranded behind the crash site and troopers and the Maine Department of Transportation are making plans to utilize a crossover to get those vehicles turned around,” the statement read.

ABC affiliate WMTW reported that the lanes were reopened before 11:30 a.m.

Authorities said “a team of troopers and a fleet of wreckers” were working “to clear the road of the wrecked vehicles and the northbound side.”

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Five years ago, Maine State Police tweeted that I-95 northbound would “remain closed for several hours due to pile-up crash.” During that 2015 incident, 14 people were injured.

Maine State Police

William Van Tassel, manager of driver training programs at the American Automobile Association (AAA), told AccuWeather last year that “every winter” pileups occur due to the change in travel conditions, but that they are “all preventable.”

“Driver error is the most common cause of crashes,” Tassel said. “Unless drivers slow down to account for that lower visibility, drivers can easily be surprised by a pile of crashed cars suddenly appearing ahead of them.”

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