BRUNSWICK — A Brunswick police cruiser was hit twice by passing vehicles on a slick Interstate 295 southbound on-ramp early Monday morning

Brunswick detective Christopher Balestra was parked in the inside lane with blue lights flashing to protect a vehicle that slid off the icy road there shortly after 5 a.m. While Balestra was in the cruiser, a vehicle sideswiped the cruiser, according to Brunswick Police Cmdr. Tom Garrepy. Then, the cruiser was struck from behind by another vehicle.

Balestra is sore, Garrepy said, but no one was seriously hurt and the vehicles were still drivable. They were low-impact crashes, he said.

“I just want to remind people to move over and slow down,” Garrepy said. “The roads are icy in the morning. Slow down, take your time, move over when you see emergency vehicles and drive with due regard.”

Another Brunswick officer was injured last year when his cruiser was hit from behind while at a crash on Route 1 during a snowstorm.

Sgt. Ed Yurek had pulled his cruiser to the side of Route 1 to assist a driver whose vehicle slid into the median that evening.

The cruiser’s emergency lights were activated and the 2018 Ford Explorer was positioned at an angle to protect the disabled vehicle, the Portland Press Herald reported. Yurek was sitting in the cruiser waiting for a tow truck to arrive. A driver going north on the inside lane failed to move over and struck the rear of the cruiser, causing heavy damage and sending the driver and Yurek to the hospital.

Maine’s move over law requires that a driver slow down to a reasonable speed and pull into an adjacent lane, if it is safe to do so, when approaching a parked emergency vehicle and if not, to pass at a safe and “prudent” speed.

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