Three injured in three-car crash on Route 4 in Auburn

AUBURN — Three people were injured in a three-car accident on Route 4 near the intersection of Lake Shore Drive on Tuesday afternoon.

Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

Auburn police and firefighters inspect the scene of a three-car accident at Route 4 and Lake Shore Drive on Tuesday afternoon. Two drivers and one passenger were injured.

Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

United Ambulance personnel take the driver of a Buick LeSabre from a three-car accident at Route 4 and Lake Shore Drive in Auburn on Tuesday afternoon.

A northbound Jeep, registered to Elaine and Harry Walker of Auburn, was waiting to turn left onto Lake Shore Drive when it was rear-ended by a Honda Accord driven by David Knobel of Sabattus, Deputy Chief Jason Moen of the Auburn Police Department said. That collision pushed the Jeep into oncoming traffic, where it collided with a Buick LeSabre, registered to Dwight and Laurie Barrett of Lewiston, traveling south, he said.

Firefighters worked to free two people who were trapped in the Buick after the accident at about 4 p.m. Tuesday. They and the driver of the Jeep were taken to area hospitals with nonlife-threatening injuries, Moen said.

The driver of the Jeep was taken to a Lewiston hospital with head injuries, Moen said. The driver of the Buick sedan suffered chest injuries from hitting the steering wheel, and a passenger, the driver's teenage son, sustained leg injuries, Moen said. They were also taken to Lewiston hospitals.

The names of the injured drivers and passenger were not available late Tuesday evening.

Knobel was not injured. Seat belts and the car's air bags saved him and a dog that was in the car from being hurt in the crash, Knobel said.

The accident occurred when Knobel checked a blind spot and turned around to see the Jeep stopped in the passing lane of Route 4 in front of him, Knobel said. He tried to swerve but was unable to avoid the Jeep, he said.

All southbound traffic was routed around Lake Auburn via Lake Shore Drive. Northbound traffic was restricted to one lane and moved slowly for several hours following the accident.

The accident comes seven weeks after a tractor-trailer struck and severely damaged a home after colliding with a pickup at nearly the same spot on Route 4.

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FRANK EARLEY's picture

Lake shore drive

As a former truck driver, All I can say is that is one of the most dangerous intersections in this area.
When your driving a tractor trailer ,by the time you get to lake shore drive, your going about 50 mph.Thats over two thirds of a football field per second. If your fully loaded and you suddenly see a stopped vehicle in frount of you you have to do three things all at once . Look for traffic to your right, slow down and gently move to the other lane, if you jerk it your going into a house.Personally I would always stay in the right lane, unfourtunatly four wheels or eighteen wheels someone is always in a hurry.
I think there should be a turning lane there as well as blinking yellow light.After thirty years of driving past that spot I've seen alot of close calls,usually because I was in the right lane and being passed. Theres a lesson in there

Kim Berry's picture

Frank,wow, close calls you have seen ...

.... so fruatrating it must have been seeing that so often for you? I am glad that you remained safe, and have survived a dangerous job, going through a treacerous stretch of road.

Glenn Aho's picture

I happened to pass by this

I happened to pass by this accident and after viewing the damage to the vehicles involved I thought for sure there would be serious injuries.

I'm thankful to hear that no one was killed

Larry Turbide's picture

This is the reason why you

This is the reason why you should never turn your wheels while you are stopped to take a left turn! Keep your wheels straight while you are waiting for traffic to pass. It could save your life...I remember back in the 1980's there was a fatal accident near this same spot, where the garden center is. There was a van headed northbound and was waiting to turn in there. They had their wheels turned and were rear ended. The crash forced them into an oncoming trailer truck I believe.

Kim Berry's picture

LARRY, very valuable information, thank you ...

,,, for sharing that. It makes sense.
I still feel that it is possible to send the rear ended car into traffic, due to the fact that it doesnt take much to push past the bright yellow. Only a couple feet, and B O O M ! So, sad, that this has happened. Like you said though, is good to be dilligent about stopping to turn on a high speed area such as this one. There have been too many fatalities there. Some from passing cars, some from people not paying attention, and rear ending some one.

I was just out there today. I was a nervous wreck driving, but I didnt need to make any stops and left turns. I would rather pull over to the right. And wait till all clear, BOTH WAYS! :) Pull back out, going back the way I came, then again, pulling to the right shoulder, then making my turn from there. Seems like alot doesnt it? Gosh uh? wow

Pretty bad that we have to pass our left turn, and pull over to the right some where to go back the opposite dirrection, drive up to our turn, pull over to the right, to safely slow down in the break down lane, to make the turn... oh boy! But, ya know, I want to be safe. I cannot garrentee that the person scooting down the high way, is going to notice me stopped in front of them. So, I will do what I have to do, take the extra time. I have a better night, driving past my turn, and going back safely to pull over, than spending a night in the ER, or the next day pushing up daisies.

good reminder Larry for us drivers. :)


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