CYR PLANTATION – Whiteout conditions on Route 1 are being blamed for a multi-vehicle accident that sent the Van Buren police chief to the hospital.
According to the Maine State Police, 11 vehicles were involved in the accident, including two Department of Transportation plow trucks, a Van Buren police cruiser, seven passenger cars and one pickup truck.
Police said that one MDOT driver and Van Buren Police Chief Michael Bresett were struck by vehicles while they were on foot at the accident scene.
According to one driver, visibility was virtually nonexistent.
“We got about, like maybe 10 feet from the plow truck before we realized that there was something gigantic and orange in front of us. And when you stepped out of the vehicle you could not see or hear anything. It was really terrifying,” said Ike Gagnon of Madawaska.
According to the Van Buren Police Department Facebook page, the chief was taken to the hospital where he was listed in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries.
State police said Bresett suffered multiple broken bones and after being struck he dragged himself out of the road to avoid being struck again by a truck headed toward him.
Although the crash remains under investigation, police said heavy winds causing whiteout conditions certainly were a contributing factor.