Mother Nature kept area authorities and emergency crews busy Sunday afternoon with nearly 100 accidents throughout the region due to an afternoon snowstorm that gave way to icy rain later in the evening.

Although most of the crashes involved just property and no serious injuries, a man snowblowing his driveway sustained serious injuries when he was hit by a snowplow in New Gloucester.

Trooper Tyler Stevenson with the Maine State Police reported Sunday night that Garrett Raymond, 29, of 86 Snow Hill Road, was hit with the plow of a 1999 GMC pickup driven by Randy Drouin, 41, also of Snow Hill Road. Stevenson said that Raymond was snowblowing his driveway around 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

“Because of the snow and rain and another vehicle’s headlights and
Garrett’s dark clothing, Randy never saw him and hit him with the right
side of his snowplow,” Stevenson said.

Raymond stepped out into the roadway to turn his snowblower around and was hit by the plow on Drouin’s truck, Stevenson said. He added that Drouin was only traveling at about 25 mph and was not actually plowing snow at the time of the accident.

Stevenson said that Raymond was thrown several feet into a snowbank and suffered serious injuries to his legs. He was transported to Central Maine Medical Center. A nursing supervisor at the hospital reported that no information was available about Raymond’s condition Sunday night.

“It’s not just the snow; it’s the conditions,” said Butch Roberts, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “The temperature is right around freezing and the snow packs really easy.”

Roberts said that because the temperatures hovered around the freezing mark, Sunday afternoon’s snow tended to pack easily and become mush, leading to dangerous road conditions. He said that the snow would taper off overnight and give way to clear skies Monday with highs in the upper 30s.

But until then, local law enforcement agencies were definitely busy most of Sunday afternoon and well into Sunday night. Troopers with the Maine State Police barracks in Gray handled between 65 and 70 accidents, while the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office handled 16 crashes throughout the county. According to dispatchers with both agencies, most of the crashes did not involve injury.

A dispatcher with the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office reported that deputies there handled at least 10 crashes throughout the afternoon and evening, including one multi-vehicle pile-up on Route 26. None of the crashes involved injuries.

As far as accidents in the Twin Cities, Auburn police reported handling four weather-related crashes, while Lewiston Police handled two. A watch commander with the police department urged drivers to use caution during winter weather.

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