River Valley sees spate of crashes Monday

RUMFORD —  The first freezing rain and sleet of the winter caught dozens of motorists off guard Monday morning, according to local police and rescue officials.

By noon, officials in Oxford and Franklin counties had responded to more than 30 accidents — most attributed to slick road conditions.

In the River Valley area, several accidents, including a jackknifed tractor-trailer on Route 2 in Dixfield kept police and emergency crews busy.

Dixfield police Chief Richard Pickett said at about 9:30 a.m., a 2006 truck jackknifed near Bill's Mill, tying up traffic for about two hours.

The driver, who was not identified, was unhurt, but the cab and box of the truck sustained between $75,000 and $80,000 damage.

Nearby in Dixfield, at least three vehicles slid off Common Road, causing no injuries and only minor damage to the vehicles.

Meanwhile, in Rumford, a woman rounding the rotary and entering Memorial Bridge at 9:05 a.m., slid into the bridge's rail, causing $1,500 damage to the bridge and about $2,000 damage to Katherine Campbell's 2004 GMC sports utility vehicle, police said. Campbell, 47, of Mexico, was unhurt in the mishap

On the Andover Road, also in Rumford, Mary Newall, 36, of Andover, was driving north when her 2000 Chevrolet sedan struck the guide wires of a utility pole, causing $5,000 damage to her vehicle. She was not injured and the pole was undamaged.

Glare ice on the Rumford Point Bridge was the cause of John White's 1993 Jeep Wrangler sliding into the bridge at 8:58 a.m. White, 44, of Woodstock, was driving north on Route 232 when he turned onto the bridge and lost control. The Jeep was destroyed but he was not hurt and the bridge was not damaged.

 In Franklin County police were dispatched to 22  accidents county-wide Monday morning, dispatcher Jarrod Bilodeau said.

Eight of those involved some type of personal injury, according to Franklin County Sheriff Lt. Niles Yeaton said. 

Franklin County deputies also handled one in Industry for the State Police while Oxford County's deputies also pitched in with one Franklin accident, Yeaton said.

Staff writers Donna Perry and Ann Bryant contributed to this report.

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 's picture

Rumford Police Department Take Note

See one department can cover for another. Franklin County Deputies cover an accident for the State Police and miracle of miracles Oxford County Deputies even went into Franklin County to help out with a Franklin County accident. Next time someone is trying to break into a woman's home and all three of the Rumford officers on duty are handling one domestic with the guy in handcuffs, have the county dispatch send another department to her aid.

 's picture

@jeffyd....ummm...did you

@jeffyd....ummm...did you ever stop to think that people driving slow might just be driving cautiously? Unless you slowed down while "passing" them and checked their tires, how do you know their tires are bald? I'm one of those drivers that slows down when the road conditions are bad. My tires are far from bald and I have several idiots that fly by me, obviously in a hurry, so I guess they didn't give themselves that much time for bad weather.

Jeff Douglas's picture

they didnt give themselves time for bad weather

as i stated i got to work fine. there was no need to plan ahead for the weather it's people like you that we need to plan ahead for. by all means drive slower if you want i have no problem with that but dont tie up traffic if you see multiple cars behind you let them pass. there is such a thing as over cautious. and those idiots that passed you thought the same of you.

Kevin Saisi's picture


If people would learn to drive slowly when conditions are ripe for freezing, we wouldn't have to call out the sander trucks as often.

Jeff Douglas's picture


if people drove auto's that were better for Maine or if they maintained thier cars like they should or if they had proper tires. i passed several cars that were driving way to slow that day. i got to work safely. im not saying that slowing down isint prudent but why should those of us that plan ahead and prepare for Maine winters have to be stuck behind somebody that cant be bothered to have tires that arent bald? if you are going to drive slowly at least make way for other drivers.


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