SOUTH PORTLAND — A truck loaded with huge saw logs tipped over at the end of an Interstate 295 exit ramp here Monday afternoon, spilling the timber across a busy highway interchange.

No one was injured, but the accident at 2 p.m. forced the closure of the exit ramp and access road for several hours and backed up traffic coming off the interstate and the Maine Turnpike. The road connects Route 1 and Broadway to both highways.

The truck driver “was going way too fast for the ramp,” said Trooper Charles Granger of the Maine State Police.

Granger said he plans to investigate whether the truck was within legal weight limits.

The driver, Carroll Cunningham, 63, of Jefferson, was carrying a load of logs from New Hampshire north toward Jefferson and got off the highway to pick up a piece of equipment in South Portland.

“It happened so quick,” Cunningham said, pointing to a blown tire on the truck. “When I hit that sharp corner, she blew” and the truck lurched over, he said.

Logs covered the travel lanes on his side of the interchange and spilled across the median into oncoming lanes.

“It’s a good thing there weren’t any cars coming the other way,” Cunningham said. “It could have been a lot worse.”

Traffic diverted from the turnpike onto I-295 northbound backed up even farther after a car and a truck collided on the highway near the Portland-South Portland line. That accident occurred about 30 minutes after the logging truck tipped over.

Two people were taken to hospitals from the second accident, although no further details were available Monday.

Staff Writer John Richardson can be contacted at 791-6324 or at: [email protected]

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