An 11-vehicle chain reaction crash Friday night on Interstate 95 in Pittsfield and Palmyra apparently was caused by icy roads, Maine State Police said.

Nine passenger vehicles, a wrecker and tractor trailer truck were involved in the crash when freezing rain caught motorists by surprise, according to a press release from Steve McCausland, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.

McCausland said the northbound lanes were closed for about two hours as vehicles were towed from the scene and the roads were treated. He said the pileup happened sometime between 9 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

“The incident started when a vehicle skidded off the roadway into the median and a wrecker was called to the scene,” his release says. “As troopers arrived, the interstate became ice covered and as other vehicles entered the crash zone, they were unable to slow down and the secondary crashes blocked both northbound lanes.”

The state Department of Transportation was notified and state police troopers closed the northbound lanes of Interstate 95 in Pittsfield by directing all northbound traffic off the interstate until the roadway could be treated, according to McCausland.

“Troopers escorted motorists from their crashed vehicles to the high embankment along the road for their safety as vehicles continued to crash,” he said. “One motorist had minor injuries and was checked by medical personnel at the scene. Pittsfield Police assisted troopers with closing the Interstate. Freezing rain, the ice-covered roadway and motorists going too fast for conditions all contributed to the crashes.”

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