Two people transported to hospital

Malfunctioning traffic light contributes to two identical Rockport crashes

Sat, 11/16/2019 - 9:15pm

ROCKPORT — The intersection of routes 90 and 17 in West Rockport was the scene of two consecutive car crashes Saturday evening, Nov. 16. The circumstances of the crashes, and the outcome, were the same: one person from each crash was transported to Pen Bay Medical Center with injuries.

The four-way intersection was busy with commuters and normal weekend traffic, with drivers heading toward Rockport, Rockland, west to South Hope and Union and southwest to Warren in the late afternoon, early evening when the Maine Department of Transportation traffic lights stopped functioning correctly, going from red, yellow and green to flashing red for eastbound traffic and flashing yellow for westbound drivers.

Just after 4:30 p.m., and after darkness fell, two cars collided, with an eastbound vehicle getting hit broadside by a westbound vehicle.

The same scenario played out less than one hour later when two more vehicles were caught in the same set of circumstances.

“They were both T-boned,” said Rockport Fire Chief Jason Peasley.

Firefighters, 20 of them from the Rockport Fire Department, had just returned to the station with their equipment when the second crash occurred, sending them right back to the middle of the intersection to tend to the injured, direct traffic, and clean up debris.

Peasley requested Knox Regional Communications Center to call the DOT to fix the lights.

Meanwhile, he remained at the intersection after the second crash to ensure an ambulance safe crossing as it passed from Pen Bay Medical Center down the highway to Maine Medical Center in Portland for an unrelated medical transport.

In total, two victims in the two crashes went to the hospital, and all four vehicles sustained significant damage, Peasley said.

This story will be updated when more details become available.