PORTLAND – A Maine State Police trooper used his cruiser to keep a wrong-way driver on Interstate 295 from getting onto Tukey’s Bridge on Friday afternoon.

State police said no one was seriously hurt when the two cars collided head-on, shortly after 4 p.m.

They said drivers called to report an elderly man driving north in the southbound lanes of I-295 in Portland.

Trooper Douglas Cropper, who was nearby, tried to stop the man near the Forest Avenue exits on the highway, but the man drove past the police cruiser.

Cropper then used a crossover lane, drove north and re-entered the southbound lanes near the Franklin Street exit. He used his cruiser to block the lane that the wrong-way driver was using.

The two vehicles hit head-on and stopped, police said.

The driver of the wrong-way car, a 2010 Toyota Corolla, was identified as Kenneth Gill, 88, of Scarborough.

State police said their investigation is continuing, but Gill is not expected to be charged.

Gill was checked out at the scene by rescue crews and released. Cropper was sent to Maine Medical Center’s Brighton Campus to be checked out, but had no apparent injuries.

State police said both cars had to be towed from the scene, but a sergeant called the damage “relatively minor” compared to what might have happened if the car that was hit hadn’t been a police cruiser.

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

[email protected]