Police investigate a possible road rage incident on the Maine Turnpike in South Portland on Friday. Staff photo by Chad Gilley

It was a rough day to travel Maine’s highways, with multiple crashes, a truck fire and one road rage confrontation snarling traffic throughout Friday afternoon.

The road rage incident occurred on the Maine Turnpike in South Portland around 3 p.m. and escalated after someone brandished a firearm, police said.

Lt. Erik Baker of the Maine State Police said two adults and two juveniles were detained but no one had been charged.

“It’s going to take some time to sort out, especially because we’re dealing with minors,” he said.

The incident happened in the southbound lanes of the turnpike near the Maine Mall. Baker said two vehicles were involved.

Witnesses said they saw several police cruisers, an ambulance and a firetruck near where one of the cars was pulled over. One witness told the Press Herald that two people could be seen in handcuffs outside a vehicle.

Traffic was backed up considerably in both the southbound and northbound lanes.

Baker said police believe “some alcohol may have been involved.”

Shortly before 4 p.m. in West Gardiner, a truck fire shut down the exit 103B off-ramp.

A considerable backup also developed between the New Hampshire state line and the York tolls by about 1:30 p.m., likely caused by tourists pushing north.

In southern Maine, a series of crashes along Interstate 95 caused a cascade of delays that was later aggravated by rush-hour traffic. Crashes in Wells, Saco and Scarborough delayed traffic in both directions at times.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

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Twitter: MattByrnePPH

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