AUBURN — Three people were injured and traffic snarled on Washington Street on Friday when two cars collided during the commuter hour.

A couple in one car and a man in the other were taken to a Lewiston hospital for a variety of injuries from the 5:30 p.m. crash near Beech Hill Road.

Police said a 1999 Ford Escort driven by Jeffrey Furlong, 42, of Gardiner, was traveling south on Washington Street when a 2005 Dodge Neon, driven by Shelia Babcock, 55, of Mechanic Falls, crossed Washington Street from Danville Corner Road headed west.

Furlong’s and Babcock’s vehicles collided, police said, sending Furlong’s vehicle into a 2008 Toyota Camry, operated by Shelley Francis, 38,of Auburn, that was stopped at the intersection. After striking Francis’ vehicle, Furlong’s vehicle careened into a utility pole and came to rest in the ditch along Washington Street.

Furlong was trapped in his vehicle and was extricated by Auburn firefighters. He was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston with an apparent head injury, police said. He was still being examined there later Friday night.

Babcock and her passenger, Jerel Babcock, 62, also of Mechanic Falls, were taken to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston for complaints of back and neck pain.

Neither Francis, nor her passengers, Raymond Zashut, 47, of Lewiston and 4-year-old Naomi Richardson of Auburn, were injured, police said.

Police blocked traffic in both directions as rescue crews responded, causing traffic to back up on either side of the site.

A dog that had been riding in one of the cars escaped the crash without injury, police said. An animal control officer was called and the dog was cared for while its owner was being treated.

The crash remained under investigation. Washington Street was reopened to traffic a short time after emergency crews first responded.


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