Wine-hauling semi truck nearly smashes road workers

A tractor-trailer hauling cases of wine sideswiped an unoccupied state truck after drifting into the breakdown lane along the Maine Turnpike.

The incident happened at 9:45 a.m. March 18, at mile marker 92 North in Litchfield, according to the Maine State Police.

William Rodney Harrington, 59, of Hartford, Connecticut, was driving the tractor-trailer northbound when he drifted into the breakdown lane.

Road workers from the Maine Turnpike Authority had just finished picking up trash for the day along the turnpike. The driver and a passenger had exited the pickup truck to retrieve construction signs, leaving the truck parked in the breakdown lane with lights flashing when they suddenly heard the sound of the tractor-trailer hitting the rumble strip.

Thanks to the noise, the workers were able to safely move to the ditch to avoid the oncoming truck, said Shannon Moss, public information officer for the state Department of Public Safety, reported Central Maine News.

The tractor-trailer then sideswiped the unoccupied truck and overturned in the ditch, spilling cases of wine in the process.

The north lane of Interstate 95 in Litchfield was shut down for most of Thursday due to the crash. 

Michael Robinson, a 43-year-old Maine Turnpike worker, was hit in the leg by flying debris from the crash. He was treated at the hospital.

Harrington was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and was issued a court summons on a charge of failure to move over and for an alleged logbook violation.