WEST GARDINER — A Pittsfield woman was flown to the hospital Monday after her car skidded and hit a utility pole on Hallowell/Litchfield Road.

The crash was one of several that occurred across central Maine as a result of unexpected black ice.

Monare Yaede, 44, was taken by a LifeFlight helicopter to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston with injuries that were serious but not life-threatening that she suffered during the crash, said Capt. Daniel Davies of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office. A hospital spokeswoman said information on Yaede’s condition was being withheld at the family’s request.

The crash occurred about 8 a.m. as Yaede was driving her 2005 Nissan Sentra north. The car skidded out of control on black ice near Fuller’s Market, Davies said. The Nissan veered off the road, hit a utility pole and flipped upside down.

Yaede was trapped inside the car for about 30 minutes as firefighters and police worked to free her, according to Kennebec County Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron Moody.

Central Maine Power Co. spokesman John Carroll said the crash knocked out power to 130 West Gardiner customers for more than 90 minutes.

Yaede wasn’t alone. Davies said his department handled seven other accidents around the same time as the West Gardiner crash. None of those accidents was believed to have resulted in serious injuries.

Monmouth Police Chief Kevin Mulherin said the black ice was the result of early morning fog meeting blacktop that had chilled in sub-freezing temperatures throughout the night. The ice disappeared quickly as the sun warmed the pavement, but not before causing some drivers to spin out of control.

“It also happened Saturday into Sunday morning,” Mulherin said.

Monmouth police handled two accidents about 8 a.m. Monday, both of which were caused by black ice, Mulherin said. Those crashes occurred in different parts of town — on Warren and Norris Hill roads — and both led to vehicle rollovers, Mulherin said. Neither of the crashes caused injury.

The black ice was tricky because it was sporadic, causing drivers to let down their guards during dry stretches.

“That was the problem,” Mulherin said. “There were spots of it.”

Craig Crosby–621-5642

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