Three days after a five-vehicle wreck killed two people on Route 17 in the northwest corner of Knox County, investigators are still piecing together what happened.

Timothy Carroll, chief deputy in the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, said Monday that the accident reconstruction is in progress, but it has not yet been completed. It’s too soon to say whether speed was a factor in the Friday afternoon crash, he said.

Police initially reported six vehicles were involved, but it turned out to be a five-vehicle crash that started about 4:45 p.m.

A lumber-laden trailer of a westbound Freightliner truck strayed into the oncoming lane of traffic and rolled over as it continued down Route 17, police said. Drivers in the first and fourth vehicles that were heading east were killed in the accident.

The driver of the first vehicle, Paul Fowles, 74, of Owls Head, was declared dead at the scene and was identified on Saturday.

Carroll said he can’t yet confirm the identity of the second driver killed, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner likewise said the driver’s identity cannot be confirmed.

Officials had said the identification is pending final review by the state medical examiner because of the extent of the burns the victim suffered.

Tracy Cook, 51, of Union, was driving a 2014 Nissan, the second vehicle, that also was struck by the trailer and veered off the road, rolling once and striking the vehicle behind her, a 2015 Kia driven by Tracy Morgan, 33, of Washington. Cook’s vehicle came to a stop on its wheels in the field south of the road. According to information from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Morgan was able to avoid the trailer by taking evasive action, and she was able to stop her vehicle in the field south of the road after Cook’s vehicle struck it.

The fourth eastbound vehicle, a Chrysler minivan, was struck by the trailer and the load of lumber and ended in the field south of Route 17, where it burst into flames.

Both the driver of the truck, Randall Weddle, 53, of Greenville, Tennessee, and his passenger, Lowell Babb, 32, of Virginia, were hospitalized. Weddle was taken by LifeFlight to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, where he was treated and released. Babb was taken to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport, where he was treated and released, Carroll said.

Cook, the driver of the second car, was taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, where she was treated and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Reached at home Monday via social media, Morgan said she was fine physically.

“Just sore muscles but nothing compared to anyone else involved,” Morgan wrote. “I was very fortunate to be able to react as quickly as I did. Mentally is a very different story. I saw things you’re only supposed to see in the movies.”

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ


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