PORTLAND – Two incidents on Tukey’s Bridge on Saturday highlighted the headaches that can sometimes accompany highway construction projects.

Just after 1 a.m., a taxi driver seeking a shortcut drove onto a closed northbound lane on Interstate 295, then hit the supervisor of the construction crew working there, according to a Maine State Police trooper.

About 12 hours later, a family from Quebec in a Chevrolet SUV crashed into a car at the end of a line of stopped traffic, causing five other collisions that shut down the northbound side of the highway for more than an hour and a half, another trooper said.

A passenger in the Chevrolet, 78-year-old Peggy Latulippe, was hospitalized with a leg injury that was not life-threatening, said Trooper George Loder. No one else was injured in the six-car pileup.

The construction worker hit by the taxicab complained of back pain, but didn’t seek medical attention, said Trooper Douglas Cropper.

The driver of the taxi, Abdi Egeh of Lewiston, was charged with failing to obey lane controls. Cropper said Egeh could face other charges, including driving to endanger.

Cropper interviewed one of the four female passengers in the taxi driven by Egeh, who was bringing them from a bachelorette party at Bubba’s Sulky Lounge in Portland to Falmouth. The passenger said Egeh was driving erratically the whole ride and stopping in the middle of the roadway, according to Cropper.

After Egeh was stopped by the construction crew, workers told him to drive out into the open lanes. He then put the cab in drive instead of reverse, hit the supervisor — Dan Veno, 54 — and drove away from the scene as the crew yelled at him to leave, Cropper said.

Cropper said based on his interview with the passenger, he doesn’t believe Egeh intentionally hit Veno.

During that incident, only the left-most lane on the highway was open to traffic. Later that morning, that lane was closed, and the middle and right lanes were opened.

The accident Saturday afternoon occurred in the middle lane. Because vehicles wound up sideways in the road, no traffic could pass through until the scene was cleared. Rescue vehicles and tow trucks also were unable to get to the accident scene from the northbound lane, because of the construction, and had to come from the other side of the highway, Loder said.

“Overall, it wasn’t serious,” Loder said, considering there was only one injury. But, he added, “it turned out to be a bit of a mess.”

The construction on Tukey’s Bridge is part of a $24 million repair project on I-295 from South Portland to Brunswick. The bridge repairs are scheduled to be completed by the fall.

“Can’t wait for it to be over,” Cropper said.

Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette contributed to this report. 

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at: 791-6364 or at

[email protected]