Seven motor vehicle crashes in the rain on Interstate 95 southbound between Palmyra and Pittsfield backed up traffic for several miles in the mid-afternoon Friday, according to a press release from Maine State Police, but no one was reported injured.

There were two crashes between 1:45 p.m. and 2:20 p.m. Friday, Sgt. Peter Michaud of the Maine State Police said in an email Saturday morning. Those crashes were initially confirmed by the Somerset County dispatch center Friday afternoon.

Maine State Police responded to five more beginning at 4:40 p.m., according to a press release Friday night from Michaud.

A three-car pile-up was the most significant of the accidents, according to the release. A 2002 Chevy sedan driven by Andrew Steeves, 18, of Minot, was slowing for congested traffic while a 2002 Audi sedan driven by Tyler Ouellette, 18, of Lewiston, was following close behind.

Ouellette couldn’t stop and ran into the rear of the Chevy. A 2003 Honda sedan operated by Brett Howell, 20, of Portland, was following the other two vehicles and also struck the Chevy sedan. The Audi was operable, but the other two vehicles were disabled and had to be towed.

While traffic ground to a halt, troopers received a report of a vehicle that had a mechanical failure in the passing lane and delayed traffic further.

According to the release, troopers pushed the vehicle from the road to open up lanes of travel.

Troopers requested the the state Department of Transportation reduce the speed limit on the interstate to 45 mph.

While the news release didn’t attribute the accidents directly to Friday’s heavy rain, it noted that drivers should slow down and be alert during inclement weather.


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