A Jay man died Monday afternoon when the small box truck he was driving ran into the rear of a tractor trailer truck on Interstate 95 in Etna, according to Maine State Police.

Troopers said Joseph Lawler, 56, was trapped in the wreckage and died at the scene where six passersby, including three nurses, had stopped and tried to administer first aid to him. He died before an ambulance arrived at the scene, according to a press release from Steve McCausland, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.

The tractor trailer Lawler struck was hauling small pieces of granite and had just pulled into the travel lane after being stopped along the breakdown lane, the release says. The tractor trailer was operated by Paul Bean Jr., 55, of Corinth.

“The collision took place at the top of a small hill at mile 165 in the southbound lane,” the release says. “Southbound traffic was blocked at the crash site for 3.5 hours and southbound traffic was detoured at the Etna exit, but dozens of vehicles were stuck on the highway for the duration. The crash was reported just after 2 p.m. and the road reopened about 6 p.m.

WT Rand Transport, of Brewer, owns the tractor trailer; the box truck was being leased by Fred’s Coffee, according to police. Troopers said there are no known witnesses to the crash, but three tractor trailers passed Bean’s truck moments before the crash. Police are asking anyone who may have seen what happened to call State Police in Bangor.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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