Maine State Police closed a busy section of Interstate 295 between Portland and Falmouth on Tuesday night after a fatal crash.

Authorities said the collision, which killed a young man, occurred in foggy conditions after a crash involving a truck had caused traffic to slow down near Exit 10 in Falmouth.

The accident, which happened between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m., left hundreds of northbound motorists stuck in their cars for hours.

“I have been sitting in traffic for two hours,” said Michael Boyd of Brunswick in a call to the Portland Press Herald around 9 p.m.

Boyd, who works as an attorney in Portland, was heading home and had made it just past the Route 1 exit when traffic came to a standstill.

He said there was no warning about an accident. “There are hundreds and hundreds of people just sitting here with no way out,” he said.

Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said northbound traffic had slowed for the truck crash, which had occurred a couple of miles ahead, when a vehicle driven by a teenage girl rear-ended a car driven by a man in his 30s, who was killed by the impact.

The teenager was not injured. The drivers’ names, ages and hometowns were unavailable Tuesday night.

After that crash, state police shut down both northbound lanes and one southbound lane. The lanes were reopened at 10 p.m.

Though lane closures on I-295 do happen from time to time, but Maine Department of Transportation spokesman Ted Talbot said it is unusual for police to shut down the interstate in Greater Portland for such a long period.

Talbot said the traffic tie-ups began around 6:30 p.m., when the truck went off the highway just south of Exit 10 in Falmouth and slammed into a cable guardrail.

State police urged drivers to seek alternative routes – with Route 1 and the Martin’s Point Bridge, which connects Portland with Falmouth, being the most obvious option.

The section of the four-lane highway where the accidents occurred is heavily used, especially during the morning and evening commutes, so even minor fender benders can cause huge traffic tie-ups.

There was dense fog and heavy mist at the time of the crashes, Talbot said.

McCausland said state troopers are investigating the cause of the fatal crash.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]