CARMEL – A massive pileup shut down a portion of Interstate 95 for more than three hours Tuesday morning.
The pileup left tractor-trailers, trucks and cars all over both sides of the northbound travel lanes.
State police say the accident was reported just after 7:30 a.m.
“It’s a combination of slippery roads and the sun was right in peoples eyes,” Sgt. Barry Meserve said.
Police said that is what appears to have caused the 30-vehicle crash, which backed up traffic for seven miles.
“Additionally, 10 more vehicles in secondary crashes as traffic approaching the scene began to back up,” said Lt. Roderick Charette, also of the state police.
A photo taken from a state police vehicle showed how bright it was.
“The sun was just completely blinding. I couldn’t see anything,” said Tammy Waltman of Corinna.
Waltman said she was on her way to work when she heard several loud bangs and slowed down.
“And I came, you know, right in behind a trailer truck and I all but ate the back of that trailer truck and cars were going every which way,” she said.
Waltman said she was lucky and was able to walk away without a scratch.
“I think the only thing that saved my butt today was I didn’t have my radio on,” she said.
She said her daughter was in a similar accident years ago that involved more than 100 vehicles.
“2015 in February she was in a stretch of cars that was in a pileup right there, too,” said Waltman.
Police said that stretch of highway seems to freeze first.
“Typically when we have crashes and storms that come, that area seems to get the crashes first,” Meserve said.
Terry Gaudet, another accident victim, did not want to go on camera but said between the sun and glare off the road he couldn’t see anything either.
He said what was most terrifying was hearing people yell and the continuous bang from cars colliding.
Police said there were no fatalities but several people were hurt.
Police said about seven cars were involved in the initial crash but the investigation is ongoing.
Police are asking for help in figuring out exactly what happened. People are urged to call the Bangor Regional Communication Center at 973-3700.