A Madison woman was killed Friday night after she stopped her vehicle to help another motorist during one of at least 10 crashes that occurred on an icy Interstate 95 in Waterville, police said Saturday.

Michelle Demchak, 59, was struck after she stopped to help an occupant of a vehicle that crashed into a Messalonskee bridge barrier.

Demchak was standing near that vehicle when a pickup truck hauling a car carrier, driven by Bradford Enos, 39, of Atkinson, struck her, according to Shannon Moss, public information officer for the Maine Department of Public Safety. Demchak was pronounced dead at the scene, Moss said.

According to MaineGeneral Health spokeswoman Joy McKenna, Demchak was a critical-response nurse for MaineGeneral Home Care and Hospice.

Police received numerous calls Friday reporting multi-vehicle crashes amid icy conditions on I-95’s bridge after 7 p.m. As the bridge’s northbound lane became congested, numerous secondary crashes occurred.

Maine State Police shut down both the north and southbound lanes and diverted traffic into Waterville for two and a half hours. More than a half-dozen agencies responded, including the Maine Warden Service and Waterville-area police and fire departments. Delta Ambulance provided emergency medical aid to several crash victims.


The speed limit on I-95 in Waterville was lowered to 45 mph at 6:55 p.m. Friday, shortly before the fatal crash, Maine Department of Transportation spokesman Paul Merrill said Saturday.

Three people were taken to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, Moss said.

Demchak was known to be compassionate, and an expert nurse who “stepped up to help, whether it was going to an urgent hospice call or to cover a colleague’s shift,” said Kathy Phelan, program director of MaineGeneral Home Care and Hospice. She was known “as a go-to person both for her experience and skill,” someone who put others’ needs first, and who was supportive of her team and her patients.

In 2020, Demchak was the recipient of the DAISY Award, an honor given by the Daisy Foundation to nurses with extraordinary skills and compassion, McKenna said.

Demchak was someone who “had hospice work in her heart,” Phelan said. Demchak often said there was no greater honor than to be with a patient and family on their final journey, Phelan said in a statement.

State police are investigating the fatal crash.

Excessive speed during inclement road conditions appears to be a contributing factor in all 10 crashes, Moss said.

MDOT crews were out treating I-95 with salt before the crashes, Merrill said Saturday.

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