Police respond Monday morning to the Exit 113 on-ramp on Interstate 95 in Augusta, where a man committed suicide inside his vehicle. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

AUGUSTA — A man reportedly killed himself Monday morning on Interstate 95 after sitting inside his vehicle for an extended period on the exit 113 on-ramp and speaking by cellphone with Maine State Police negotiators.

Officials later Monday declined to release information about the man, pending notification of his family, according to Lt. Chris Read of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.

Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said police closed the northbound lanes of Interstate 95, between exit 112 and exit 120 in Sidney, at about 7:30 a.m., after learning an armed man was sitting alone inside an automobile.

McCausland said State Police negotiators spoke to the man by telephone before the man took his own life. McCausland said he did not know how long negotiators spoke with the man.

“The goal of any communication with a suicidal person is to end the incident peacefully and safely,” McCausland said. “The ultimate goal is to have the suicidal person surrender and get the treatment they need.”

Kennebec County Sheriff Ken Mason said his office received a call at 4:19 a.m. Monday alerting it the man who later killed himself “was having difficulties.” Mason said his office, the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office and State Police were looking for the man until he was located on the I-95 on-ramp in Augusta.

McCausland said State Police tactical officers were called to the scene, but the man did not threaten to use the weapon on anyone else.

Read said he did not know what led the man to commit suicide.

“Even if I did know,” Read said, “I would never release it.”

In Augusta, police diverted traffic from Route 3 to Route 104 during the closure, and Civic Center Drive, also known as Route 27, was backed up with traffic that had been diverted off of I-95.

Normal traffic resumed at about 9:30 a.m., after rescue workers removed the victim’s body from the scene.


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