Authorities say a 71-year-old man from Winslow caused a tractor-trailer truck full of potatoes to crash on the interstate Thursday afternoon.

According to Maine Department of Public Safety Spokesperson, Shannon Moss, Regional Dispatchers in Augusta started fielding calls from southbound drivers who were traveling along I-95, around the area of mile marker 127 just after noon Thursday. Motorists said they saw a white 2019 Chevy Silverado going the wrong way down the interstate. As troopers made their way to that area of the highway, they started getting reports that a large truck had crashed nearby.

"The initial investigation indicates that the tractor-trailer was traveling southbound in the passing lane when the driver saw the white pickup truck diving towards him in the passing lane the wrong way. The driver of the tractor-trailer was able to avoid the truck. He slammed on his brakes and swerved to the left which caused the tractor-trailer to roll over in the median."

TT roll over Waterville 2, 1.25.24, Department of Public Safety
TT roll over Waterville 2, 1.25.24, Department of Public Safety

Moss says the tractor-trailer, which was from a company called River View Transport in Houlton, was hauling potatoes when it crashed. The road around the crash scene had to be shut down for quite some time so that crews could remove the truck's cargo and get it back upright and on the road again.

TT roll over Waterville 1.25.24, Department of Public Safety
TT roll over Waterville 1.25.24, Department of Public Safety

She says the man driving the truck the wrong way, eventually got turned around in the right direction and started to travel south (in the correct lane this time) when he ultimately got off Exit 133.

"Clinton Police Officer spotted the pick-up truck and was able to conduct a traffic stop without incident on Route 201 near the restaurant the Purple Cow. The driver, 71-year-old Randolph Gerry of Winslow was charged with Driving to Endanger and Operating the Wrong Way on a Divided Highway."

Moss says authorities are still looking into why Gerry was going the wrong way down the interstate, as there was no sign that he was impaired or experiencing a medical event.

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