A tractor-trailer truck swerving to avoid a moose crashed down an embankment and spilled its load of potatoes on Interstate 295 in Richmond Tuesday night, police said.
Traffic was reduced to one lane on I-295 south Wednesday as crews worked to remove the trailer and clean up the potatoes, creating a traffic backup for most of the day. Both lanes of the highway were expected to be back open again by 7 p.m. Wednesday, according to Ted Talbot, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.
Talbot said a bulldozer, large dump trucks and tow trucks were brought in to remove the truck and mounds of potatoes.
The driver, Marc Benoit, 63, of Hampden, Mass., suffered minor leg injuries and was taken to Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick.
Maine State Department of Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said the truck was fully loaded with potatoes from northern Maine and was southbound, heading for Connecticut.
The accident was reported at 10:17 p.m. Tuesday. Benoit swerved the truck, owned by AJA GO Transportation, to avoid a moose in the southbound lane of I-295, near mile marker 43 in Richmond, police said. Responding to the accident were Maine State Police and Sagadahoc sheriff’s deputies.
Police said the truck went off the median side and went several hundred feet before hitting an embankment. The crash broke the box portion of the truck in half, spilling the load of potatoes, police said.