Vehicle crash in Brunswick on Wednesday. Courtesy of Brunswick Police

Police are investigating what caused a six-vehicle collision on Route 1 in Brunswick Wednesday that left three hospitalized on Wednesday, Aug. 25.

Bianca McKay, 23 of Boothbay sustained life-threatening injuries and was flown via rescue helicopter to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

On Thursday, hospital spokesperson Ann Kim said that no further information was being released regarding McKay’s condition, following the request of her family.

The two others were transported to local hospitals with minor injuries and were released.

According to Brunswick Chief of Police Scott Stewart, a preliminary investigation indicated that distraction may have been a factor. Once the investigation is complete, the department will be able to offer an official cause.

“We are conducting a thorough investigation, to include additional interviews, reviewing the crash with our reconstruction unit, as well as in cooperation with the State Police Commercial Enforcement Division and District Attorney’s Office,” Stewart said.


Stewart said that at this time he cannot comment on whether anyone will face charges.

“We handle a considerable amount of crashes in that stretch,” Stewart said. “During heavy traffic volume time frames, traffic backs up from the merge onto Mill St. and Pleasant St. Most crashes are low-speed fender benders. We generally do not have high-speed crashes in that area.”

The collision occurred southbound between the Topsham Connector and Maine Street Brunswick, a 45-mph section of road constructed and maintained by the state.

Stewart described the accident as a chain reaction, where traffic had slowed or stopped in the lane and a box truck driven by Chenda Douer, 48 of Portland, struck the rear of McKay’s vehicle. As a result, McKay’s vehicle was pushed under a 2019 Dodge Caravan in front of her.

According to the Maine Department of Transportation, that stretch of road is designated as a high crash location. Between 2016 and 2020, 29 crashes occurred on that stretch and approximately 13,000 vehicles use the road on any given day.

High-crash locations and segments are areas that, in a three-year period, have eight or more crashes and a higher frequency of crashes than the state average for similar locations.


Of those crashes, none were fatal and six resulted in injuries.

“Regarding Wednesday morning’s crash, we are awaiting the results of the police investigation into the cause,” said Maine Department of Transportation spokesperson Paul Merrill. “Broadly, I can tell you that we are always looking for ways to increase safety and limit congestion in Brunswick.”

Brunswick Town Engineer Ryan Barnes said that the town is aware of the traffic congestion issues in that area.

A study currently underway in Brunswick examining the Pleasant Street Corridor, Barnes said, could result in future roadwork that might help clear traffic on Mill Street and further south.

“It could potentially have impacts as far down as that, and it could hopefully alleviate some issues in the future,” Barnes said. “Obviously any accident location and particularly high crash location I think the town is concerned about.”

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