Three people died in a terrible head-on collision Monday morning in Westbrook on an icy stretch of Route 22 that hadn’t but been handled using metropolis avenue crews. A pickup truck and a taxi collided shortly earlier than 7 a.M. On Route 22, additionally called County Road, close to a blind crest in the street. All three humans inside the taxi have been killed. The driver of the pickup truck was critically injured.
Icy roads had been reported in a few cities of the city as temperatures dipped earlier than dawn, and salt and sanding vans had been on their way to deal with roads close to the crash website when the collision became suggested a city legitimate said. The National Weather Service workplace in Gray issued a special climate announcement for all of southern Maine at 2:24 a.M. Monday warning that regions of drizzle should create a thin layer of ice on roadways “that can be undetectable.”
The climate carrier assertion urged drivers in Cumberland County and different affected regions to “use excessive caution, particularly on bridges, overpasses, and round curves. Allow plenty of stopping distance and keep away from breaking all at once.” The first weather assertion remained in impact thru 9 a.M. Monday. The taxi – a 2009 Toyota Camry registered to Orange Taxi and Transportation of Portland – became headed west when its driving force seemingly misplaced manage and slid sideways across the middle line, Westbrook Police Chief Janine Roberts said.
The 2d vehicle, a Nissan Frontier pickup headed east, crested the hill and struck the taxi’s side. The cab motive force changed into recognized as Hassan Idris Ali, 39, of Lewiston. His passengers were identified as Gregory E. Harriman, 50, of Sebago, and Joshua R. Stone, 33, of Gorham. All three have been suggested useless on the scene, Roberts stated. One of the cab passengers was respiration while first responders arrived, but he died before more help ought to succeed. It turned into no longer recognized Monday night why Stone and Harriman had been inside the same taxi, in which their experience originated or in which it became going.
A guy who answered the smartphone for a number listed for Orange Taxi declined to remark and hung up Monday afternoon. Reached on his cellular telephone Monday night time, Omar Mohamed, one of all Orange Taxi’s owners, would now not talk in detail approximately where Ali had picked up his passengers and in which they had been heading. Mohamed said he turned into with a group of individuals who had been “mourning the tragedy.” He declined to remark similarly. The driving force of the pickup truck, Lisa Libby, 60, of Hollis, suffered extreme but non-lifestyles threatening accidents, consisting of multiple broken ribs and a collapsed lung, and changed into being handled within the important care unit at Maine Medical Center, Westbrook Fire Chief Andrew Turcotte stated.
A health center spokesman stated Libby was in a critical situation Monday night. Police stated the cause of the crash is underneath investigation; however, black ice had been stated within the vicinity. A sanding truck was on its way to that part of the metropolis to treat icy roads. It arrived quickly after the crash. When police received the record of the fatal crash, officials have been about 1/2 a mile away on County Road responding to a single car that had rolled over, possibly due to speed and icy situations, police said. The first name-out to spark off Westbrook’s salt and sanding crews came about 1:30 a.M., but police directed vans to cognizance on areas north of the Presumpscot River, said Eric Dudley, Westbrook’s director of engineering and public provider. The directive to awareness street salting efforts at the south aspect of Westbrook, together with County Road, did now not come till about 6:50 a.M., Dudley stated.
A Westbrook salt truck arrived on County Road approximately 7:05 a.M., just minutes after the crash, and turned into a pictured in the image of the crash scene allotted on social media through the Westbrook Fire Department. “We name it a flash freeze,” Dudley said. “Those moist roads iced over, and we couldn’t be in all locations at once.” County Road was closed to traffic till approximately 10:15 a.M. Orange Taxi has been incorporated as a commercial enterprise given that 2014, and is registered to 2 humans: Mohamed and Mowlid Ahmed, in line with business statistics held with the aid of the metropolis of Portland and the Secretary of State’s office.
Ali completed a motive force’s schooling direction and obtained his learners’ allow in August 2017, earlier than receiving a full motive force’s license in October 2017. Since then, he has had no records of moving violations, in keeping with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. However, Ali was not registered and authorized as a taxi driving force through Portland’s city, metropolis spokeswoman Jessica Grondin stated. Orange Taxi has only one taxi registered in metropolis data, a 2006 Honda Odyssey van. It becomes now not clean Monday why neither Ali nor the Camry was registered through Orange Taxi.