The death toll from three separate automobile crashes in southern Maine during Tuesday evening’s commute reached two on Wednesday.
Lois Carson, 80, who was a passenger in a 2006 Chevrolet Equinox driven by her son at the time of a three-vehicle crash on Interstate 295 in Portland, died at Maine Medical Center, according to state police spokesman Steve McCausland.
The accident, which occurred in the southbound lanes between the Franklin Street and Forest Avenue exits, was reported at 4:05 p.m. and slowed traffic to a crawl until about 7 p.m. Two other people were injured in the crash.
Police on Wednesday also identified the man killed in a two-vehicle collision on Route 202 in Sanford on Tuesday as James Desaulniers, 53, of Lebanon.
Sanford police said Desaulniers was driving westbound on Route 202 in a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado around 5:37 p.m., when he made an improper pass that caused his truck to strike an oncoming 2008 Jeep Commanche. Desaulniers was declared dead at the scene.
The driver and passenger of the Jeep, whom police did not identify, were taken by helicopter to a hospital to be treated for their injuries.
McCausland said Wednesday that he had no new details of what may have caused the crash on I-295 and that it remains under investigation. On Tuesday he said the crash occurred when a 2014 Chevrolet Cruze driven by Susan Tanzer, 62, of Pennsylvania slowed down in the right lane. Her car was struck from behind by a pickup truck driven by Jonah King, 25, of South Portland.
A third vehicle – the Equinox driven by Dennis Carson, 53, of Portland – hit Tanzer’s car, causing the Equinox to overturn.
The two others injured in the crash also were taken to Maine Medical, but appeared to be in stable condition, Portland Deputy Fire Chief Robert Stewart said on Tuesday evening.
State police responded to a third multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 95 north of the New Gloucester toll plaza at 4:50 p.m.
Scott Dolan can be reached at 791-6304 or at: