Maine State Police reopened Interstate 295 northbound to normal traffic flow at 4:15 p.m. Friday in Freeport after a series of crashes triggered by a disabled school bus shut down the highway.

A private school bus carrying about 30 children had broken down by the side of the road at mile 21 north at 2:24 p.m., said Trooper Doug Cropper. When a replacement bus arrived and slowed to pull into the breakdown lane, that quickly slowed traffic behind it, he said.

An Irving oil truck hauling 2,300 gallons of oil crested a rise in the highway, saw the cars stopping and did not think he could stop in time so swerved off the road and into a ditch, Cropper said. None of the oil leaked.

More cars slowed as they approached the accident scene and a Chevrolet HHR hit a GMC pickup truck, pushing it into a Sysco trailer truck loaded with food, he said.

Nobody was injured but one lane of the highway was shut down, snarling northbound traffic.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

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Twitter: @Mainehenchman