Route 1 in Woolwich was shut down for nearly four hours Monday after a passenger vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer, causing the truck to jackknife and block the heavily traveled two-lane highway that connects Bath and Wiscasset.

Deputies who investigated the crash said they have probable cause to believe that the driver of the 2009 Ford Focus, 57-year-old Gail MacLaren of Westport Island, may have been drinking, Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry said.

MacLaren was transported to Maine Medical Center with serious, but non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the truck, 37-year-old Peter Grinnell of Farmingdale, was not injured.

“The investigation is ongoing and alcohol is considered a factor, as well as road conditions which were partially snow covered,” Merry said in a news release. “Evasive action by the truck driver may have prevented more serious injuries.”

According to police, the truck was heading south on Route 1 around 11:26 a.m. Monday when the Ford Focus turned left from George Wright Road into the path of the truck. Grinnell drove to the side of the road to avoid hitting the car, struck guardrails and then jack-knifed across Route 1.

MacLaren was extricated from her car, and Route 1 traffic was detoured for 3.5 hours, finally opening around 3 p.m.

Merry said the crash forced police to detour hundreds of motorists onto secondary roads in Woolwich.

The crash remains under investigation by the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office and the Maine State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit.

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

[email protected]


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