AUGUSTA — The northbound lanes of Interstate 95 in Augusta re-opened early Friday afternoon after a crew cleared debris following an early morning accident in which a tractor-trailer truck carrying U.S. mail rolled over.

The truck rolled over at 5:19 a.m., initially reducing highway travel to one lane and delaying traffic for several hours. But later in the morning, police closed both lanes of traffic so a work crew could move the truck into an upright position. Just before noon, police re-opened one lane and later cleared the scene.

“They have been open for several hours,” Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said at 4:45 p.m. Friday.

The crash occurred between the exits to Route 3 in Augusta and Lyons Road in Sidney, near mile 114. Firefighters, Maine State Police and Department of Environmental Protection officials responded to the accident.

The truck crashed after the driver, 29-year-old Nzabandora Appolinaire of Springfield, Massachusetts, veered onto the shoulder, McCausland said in a news release. Appolinaire was taking mail from Springfield to Bangor, and it was his first day on the route, McCausland said.

A crew transferred all the mail from the rolled-over truck to another one and wrecker trucks worked to move the tractor-trailer, McCausland said.

At one point, northbound traffic was diverted at exit 113 in Augusta, but southbound traffic was unaffected by the detour.

Appolinaire suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene Friday morning, police said.

Immediately after the accident, the speed limit on I-95 northbound was reduced to 45 mph at mile 109 because of the crash, according to the emergency broadcast system. Motorists were urged by the emergency system to find an alternate route, as traffic backed up toward exit 112.


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