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Maine State Police respond to about 20 crashes on I-95 due to black ice

Maine State Police responded to about 20 crashes and slide-offs on I-95 due to black ice Saturday.Maine Department of Public Safety

A tractor-trailer spanning sideways across Interstate 95 was one of about 20 crashes and slide-offs that Maine State Police responded to Saturday afternoon due to black ice, officials said.

Troopers responded to about eight crashes and slide-offs at about 12:30 p.m. on I-95 from north of Waterville to the greater Bangor area, which left the southbound lanes closed from miles 174 to 159 “due to the conditions,” the Maine Department of Public Safety said in a statement.

The tractor-trailer incident was among the eight, as well as a rollover crash, the statement said. Minor injuries were reported in the incidents, officials said.

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I-95 South has since been re-opened to traffic at mile 174, the statement said.

The black ice resulted from numerous factors combining together to form the slick conditions on the interstate, said Michael Clair, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.

“It’s been very cold lately,” Clair said. “Now, we’re starting to get warm, moist air moving into the area, but the cold is very stubborn to move because it’s so much more dense.”

Because of that, that area is “seeing areas of freezing drizzle and a light freezing mist,” and, combined with road temperatures which remain below freezing, caused the black ice, Clair said.

Shortly after the eight crashes and slide-offs, troopers also responded to about 12 more at mile 188 on I-95 southbound in Bangor, officials said.

One person was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, the statement said. Local agencies also responded to the scene, officials said.

The speed limit was reduced to 45 mph in that area, officials said.

“People are driving too fast for road conditions,” Maine State Police said on social media.



Breanne Kovatch can be reached at breanne.kovatch@globe.com. Follow her @breannekovatch.