Auburn crash seriously hurts driver, closes Washington Street

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AUBURN — A Raymond man remained in critical condition Thursday, the morning after his car crossed the centerline and collided head-on with a tractor-trailer on Washington Street.

Firefighters used hydraulic equipment to free Michael Lahey, 54, from his mangled Kia Spectra after the 6:30 p.m. Wednesday crash sent the car spinning to the side of the road.

Lahey was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston with a variety of wounds, including broken bones, cuts and possible internal injuries. 

The driver of the truck, Mark Andrews, 52, of New Gloucester, was not hurt, police said. After the collision, his rig crashed over an embankment and onto a lawn at the corner of Poland Spring Road, and one of its fuel tanks ruptured. Police notified the Maine Department of Environmental Protection of the potential for spilled fuel.

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As fire crews ripped apart the four-door car to free Lahey, the victim could be seen moving his arms and clutching his head. One witness who came upon the crash scene seconds after the collision said the man was moving around inside the car and attempting to free himself.

A man who identified himself as the victim’s son arrived at the scene just as the driver was being loaded into an ambulance.

Police blocked off a section of Washington Street around the crash site, rerouting traffic along Poland Spring and Moose Brook roads. They were expected to reconstruct the crash site as their investigation got underway.

That section of Washington Street was reopened shortly before 8 a.m. Thursday. Gallon water jugs had to be removed from the trailer before it could be towed from the ditch, police said.

At the time the vehicles collided, the area was experiencing a downpour with heavy rain that limited visibility. Police said Lahey was driving north when his car crossed the centerline and collided with the rig, driven by Andrews and owned by MPC Transport.

Auburn Police were assisted by an accident reconstructionist from Maine State Police as well as the State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit. 

Auburn Police crash investigating is expected to close the roadway at Washington Street and Poland Spring Road for 2-3 hours. Police will advise when the road is reopened. 

Detour information is as follows:

Northbound Traffic

· Left onto Eastman Lane

· Right onto Hotel Road

· Right onto Kittyhawk Ave

· Left onto Washington Street

· Continue Northbound

Southbound Traffic

· Right onto Kitthyhawk Ave.

· Left onto Hotel Road

· Left onto Eastman Lane

· Right onto Washington Street

· Continue Southbound

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