1:55 p.m.

GARDINER — Two area men were killed and a third was injured Saturday morning when their van crashed on ice-covered U.S. Route 201.

Dennis Kay, 62, of Gardiner and Carlton Norwood, 25, of Pittston, were both partially ejected when the cargo van they were riding in skidded out of control and rolled over before landing in a ditch on its side, said Gardiner Police Chief James Toman.

A third man, Thomas Bourque, 29, of Randolph, was taken by ambulance to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta for treatment of what were believed to be non life-threatening injuries.

The section of Route 201, also called Brunswick Avenue, was closed for about three hours as police investigated the crash, Toman said.

The crash occurred around 8 a.m., as the men were driving a Budget rental van south on Brunswick Avenue toward Interstate 295. Bourque was riding in the back of the van, in the cargo area. Kay and Norwood were up front in the main cabin, but police have not yet determined which of the men was driving, Toman said.

“We’re still gathering facts,” he said.

Freezing rain had left a coating of ice on the road. The van slid out of control in the area of Wingate Landscaping.

“It appears due to icy road conditions and speed the driver lost control and crossed the opposite lane into the ditch,” Toman said.

Kay and Norwood died at the scene, Toman said.

“It would appear they were not wearing their seat belts,” he said. “Had they been wearing their seat belts they probably would still be alive.”

Maine State Police and Kennebec County Sheriff deputies assisted Gardiner police and fire department at the scene, Toman said.