WOOLWICH — A Westport man was charged with operating under the influence after allegedly triggering a four-vehicle crash on Route 1 in Woolwich Friday afternoon, snarling traffic for miles.

The crash was reported at 3:08 p.m. according to Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Deputy Al Huntington, who responded to the crash. Huntington said a school bus was stopped in a southbound lane at Pine Street to let off a child and had the red lights flashing so vehicles behind the bus and in oncoming traffic lanes were stopping.

A northbound Dodge Ram pickup truck with an extended cab hauling a John Deere tractor on a flatbed trailer in the inner lane apparently triggered the crash when the driver, Dexter Averill, 70, of Westport Island, failed to slow in time for stopped traffic and struck the Ford Ranger in front of him driven by Eric Christiansen, 50, of Wiscasset.

Huntington said it appears the Dodge Ram then hit a black Civic Honda in the other northbound lane driven by Cindra Goodwin, 24, of West Bath. The Honda was pushed up over a curb and into a sign with large metal poles. Goodwin, the sole occupant, was transported to Mid Coast Hospital, Huntington said, with complaints of pain. 

The Ford Ranger once struck by the Dodge was pushed into a Ford Explorer in front of it driven by Barbara Bailey, 66, of Wiscasset. The drivers of the Ford Ranger and Ford Explorer were the only occupants in the vehicles and were not hurt. Averill and a dog in the truck were uninjured as well. The school bus was not involved in the crash.

Bath Police Department responded to the scene to assist and Huntington and arrested and charged Averill with operating under the influence. Averill posted bail at the Bath police station and was released.

Woolwich Fire and EMS responded along with Huntington, Deputy Mark Anderson and Bath police. Southbound traffic continued to move and northbound traffic was diverted around the crash using the center turning lane. Three tow trucks were called to remove the Dodge Ram pickup, the tractor-toting trailer, the Honda Civic and the Ford Ranger.

Huntington said by the time he left the scene at around 4:30 p.m. he was told northbound traffic was backed up along Route 1 as far as West Bath.

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