AUGUSTA — Icy roads led to a busy day Wednesday for police and public works crews as drivers slid into ditches and, in at least one case, a utility pole.

At about 10:20 a.m., the driver of a Ford Taurus lost control and skidded into a Central Maine Power Co. pole on Church Hill Road near Mount Murphy Lane.

The driver and a passenger, both teenagers, were taken to hospitals — one to MaineGeneral Medical Center and the other to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

The crash knocked out power to about 2,500 CMP customers in Augusta, Chelsea, Vassalboro, Whitefield and Windsor, spokeswoman Gail Rice said. Those customers were without electricity for more than an hour.

The freezing rain also affected area schools; Augusta schools released students early.

The crash on Church Hill Road was the only one to send anyone to the hospital from Augusta on Wednesday, but city police officers spent much of the day responding to minor crashes on slick roads.

Many of those accidents occurred in areas with less traffic, such as side roads and parking lots, according to Lt. Chris Massey.

There were at least four crashes on Bangor Street throughout the day.

The driver of a 2002 Nissan sedan lost control while driving north on Whitten Road and went off the side of the road closest to Interstate 95.

Augusta Public Works crews spent the day applying salt and sand to roads, Director Lesley Jones said.

“Freezing rain is absolutely the worst,” she said. “One minute everything’s all right, and the next minute you get black ice, basically.”

Because of the relatively mild temperatures so far this season, people haven’t switched on their winter driving skills, Jones said. The trouble spots on Wednesday tended to be on curves that drivers misjudged, police said.

Susan McMillan — 621-5645

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