They slipped, slid and skied.

After an ugly storm brought 15 inches of snow to Lewiston-Auburn and parts of Western Maine overnight Wednesday into Thursday, police responded to a myriad of accidents, including a truck-train collision.

A tractor-trailer driver in South Paris walked away after he ran flashing red lights, got stuck on train tracks and a train hit the rig, police said. 

Paris patrol Sgt. Hartley “Skip” Mowatt said the truck driver pulled out of New England Warehouse onto Pine Street with a load of paper at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday.

“(He) went through the red lights that were flashing, then got stuck on the road and tried to back up,” Mowatt said. “Before he could pull out of there, the train hit him and moved him down about 30 feet.”

The train, traveling at 10 mph, knocked the tractor-trailer over and demolished it, the sergeant said. The truck driver initially declined treatment but later complained of head pain and was taken to a hospital. Injuries didn’t appear serious and no one on the train was hurt, Mowatt said. More details were not available Thursday and the crash was under investigation.


“He’s very lucky,” Mowatt said.

In Auburn, Deputy Chief Jason Moen said police were busy at the start of the storm responding to accidents, especially along Riverside Drive.

“I didn’t get any phone calls last night, so that’s a good sign (that none were too severe),” he said.

Lewiston had 12 to 15 accidents with no injuries, police Lt. Michael McGonagle said.

“Very slippery, very icy, a lot of people trying to stop for red lights and sliding,” he said.

Police also fielded reports of downed trees and downed wires. By early evening, 47,000 Central Maine Power customers were without power, including 235 in Oxford County and 1,327 in Androscoggin County.


Meteorologist Eric Sinsabaugh at the National Weather Service in Gray said Lewiston received 15 inches of snow, Norway 11 inches and Lisbon Falls 10½ inches. A winter storm warning had been called off by 7 a.m.

“It’s not something we usually see this early in the year,” Sinsabaugh said.

His Black Friday forecast: mostly cloudy with a chance of light snow showers.

Sunday River spokeswoman Sarah Devlin said the Newry ski resort also saw 15 inches of snow overnight and opened its Chondola, for a total of 27 ski-able trails.

“Receiving over a foot of snow is a great way to kick off the early season,” she said. “When people see snow in their backyards, they think about snow sports and winter fun.”

She said the resort’s new terrain would open soon. “Added to the terrain we opened today, we are more than happy to oblige.”

Spokeswoman Noelle Tuttle at Sugarloaf in Carrabassett Valley said that resort saw 10-plus inches from the storm.

“More snow gives us the opportunity to open more terrain which in this business is always a good thing,” she said. “There were many smiling faces out taking advantage of all the fresh snow today.” 

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