Jan. 27--POLAND -- A head-on collision was complicated Saturday night as emergency crews dodged a secondary crash at the rescue scene.
According to Poland fire Chief Mark Bosse, crews were called out around 7:30 p.m. to Route 26 near the intersection of Lake Shore Drive.
Bosse said that snowfall on that section of Route 26, which responders refer to as "crash hill," had left it "pretty slick."
As initial crews arrived, Bosse said, about three crewmen lit up the scene and attempted to assess the collision between a pickup truck and a sedan. According to Bosse, bystanders were also getting out of their vehicles to offer assistance.
That, according to Bosse, is when his crew heard people warning "look out!" as two more vehicles slid through the crash scene, clipping each other before sending one vehicle into the ditch.
Bosse said that his firefighters are required to wear reflective gear on scene, but he worried about the good Samaritans, "The one thing we don't want to see is people getting hurt doing the right thing."
According to Bosse, the position of the vehicles involved in the initial crash, as well as the presence of responders on scene, should have implied the road was closed to further traffic.
Bosse said the three occupants of the vehicle that went into the ditch were "shook up but OK." Their car was not drivable and had to be towed.
The occupants of the first two vehicles involved were taken to Central Maine Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. Those involved in the secondary collision refused medical treatment, according to Bosse.
Bosse said that Route 26 had to be shut down for over an hour while crews removed vehicles and a large amount of debris from the initial crash, describing the first two vehicles as demolished.
"It's not uncommon for that area," Bosse said, "we've had quite a few accidents." He said those involved in the Saturday night were lucky.
Bosse said that when conditions are right, there are going to be problems on that stretch of Route 26. "People have got to slow down," Bosse said, regardless of the amount of snowfall.
Bosse said Route 26 is not treated with sand, at least some of which remains between the ruts to provide a little traction for drivers, Bosse said the salt-only treatment of Route 26 by the Maine Department of Transportation washes off with every wave of precipitation and is temperamental in frigid temperatures.
"It's not the same as the back roads," Bosse said, which are maintained by sand-bearing municipal trucks.
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