December 17, 2012

Too much speed, too little tread cause of Augusta interstate truck crash on Monday, trooper says

Driver of big rig taken to hospital; Interstate 95 shut down for 45 minutes between exits 109 and 112

By Craig Crosby
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA -- A big rig crash that injured the driver and tied up traffic Monday on Interstate 95 for nearly an hour was the result of excessive speed and too little tire tread in snowy conditions, police said.

Rida Elsieidy, 49, of New Jersey, was taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta with what were believed to be non-life threatening injuries in the crash, said Maine State Police Trooper Derrick Record. Hospital officials said Elsieidy was treated and released.

Elsieidy's 2003 Kenworth 18-wheeler, which was carrying rolls of home insulation, tied up traffic for more than hour after it jackknifed and went off the highway, Record said.

"He was just traveling a little too fast for the road conditions and had some poor tires on the vehicle," Record said. "The combination led to the crash."

Elsieidy truck, which is owned by New Jersey-Based Adam Trucking, had extensive front end and undercarriage damage, Record said. The driver was charged with failure to keep a current log, Record said.

The crash occurred around 8 a.m. as Elsieidy was driving north on I-95. He lost control of the rig just north of the Bond Brook overpass, between exits 109 and 112. The truck skidded off the right side of the road, causing it to jackknife, and it stopped with its cab up against the guardrail facing south. The trailer completely blocked the travel lane and a portion of the passing lane, Record said.

Traffic continued to flow in one lane except when Augusta Rescue tended to Elsieidy and then again when crews removed the truck. Record said both lanes were closed for about 45 minutes between the two procedures.

"We tried to keep it flowing as best as we could," he said.

The truck and trailer were towed as a single unit by Fairfield-based C&J Trailer and Towing, Record said.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection also was called to the accident scene due to fuel spill from the truck. The crash occurred a short distance from Bond Brook overpass, which is directly above one of the wells that supply water for the city.

"They used hand tools to remove the diesel," Record said.

Craig Crosby -- 621-5642

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