UPDATED: Route 1 Warren traffic back to normal after trailer drops from truck

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 6:30pm

Story Location:
1625 atlantic highway
1625 atlantic highway
Warren, ME 04864
United States

    WARREN — Forty thousand pounds potatoes destined for an out of state potato salad factory endured an unplanned stopover in Warren, Monday afternoon, March 27, when the trailer of the tractor trailer truck they were riding in detached from the truck’s cab.

    The truck had been traveling from Caribou to North Carolina and was pulling out of Andes Variety gas station and convenience store on Route 1 in Warren, when the cab and trailer became separated.

    At 2:33 p.m., Knox County Sheriff’s deputies were alerted to the incident, which forced northbound traffic to drive in the breakdown lane and the southbound traffic to detour through the gas station parking lot. As the deputies drove to the scene, they proactively requested the assistance of Warren Fire Department for traffic control. As firefighters arrived, they not only kept an eye on traffic, but also on the trailer’s leaking oil tank. The oil tank helps keep the refrigerated trailer cool so that the potatoes won’t spoil. Responders spread sand, kitty litter, and absorbent mats on the oil and, according to Warren Fire Chief Greg Andrews, believed that all of the oil had drained from the tank prior to 4 p.m.

    Inch by inch, with the help of chains, the trailer was first dragged out of the northbound lane so that it was closer to parallel with the shoulder of the road. Then again, inch by inch, the front of the trailer was hoisted upwards, a little at a time, as the firefighters, AutoMaster tow truck operators, and trucking company employees wedged in more and more slats of wood, between the ground and the trailer, that were brought from Public Works and Maine Department of Transportation.

    The trucking company had intended to send another tractor trailer to take over the rest of the drive. This means shoveling out all 40,000 potatoes, which were riding loose in their hold. Once the potatoes are processed into salad in North Carolina, their intended final destination is right back here in Maine.

    The driver was not hurt.

    Crews cleared the scene at approximately 6:30 p.m.


    Reach Sarah Thompson at news@penbaypilot.com