About 15 motorists told state police Thursday night that they got flat tires after driving over construction debris that had been dumped in the southbound lanes of Interstate 295 in South Portland.

Authorities were initially at a loss to explain who was responsible for the debris and how it got in the road around Exit 3, but Ted Talbot, spokesman for the Maine Department of Transportation, said late Thursday night that it came from a dump truck owned by Sargent Corp. “Sargent Corporation’s truck encountered a bridge joint and the impact caused the tailgate of the truck to let go. It let go of all the material,” Talbot said.

Sargent Corp. returned to the area and cleaned up the debris, but not before the motorists got flat tires. Talbot described the debris as gravel, boards and chunks of concrete.

“Sargent Corporation had cleaned up all the debris by the time our crews arrived,” Talbot said, and traffic was flowing freely by 9:30 p.m.

Talbot said Sargent Corp. was hauling the debris from the State Street reconstruction project in Portland when the accident occurred. He was not sure where the truck was going.

A state police dispatcher said motorists started reporting debris in the road at 7:40 p.m.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]


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