Police now believe a Yarmouth woman drove less than a mile in the wrong direction on Interstate 295 before a fatal crash

Investigators believe Nancy Ezhaya, 72, went the wrong way onto the northbound off-ramp at Bucknam Road in Falmouth and headed south on the interstate, Maine State Police spokesperson Shannon Moss said Tuesday. She confirmed that the crash occurred just south of Exit 10 – not the nonexistent Exit 11, as police initially reported.

The accident shut down traffic for three hours on Monday, one of the year’s busiest travel days.

Ezhaya, who was driving a Toyota SUV, died after her vehicle collided head-on with Allen Apblett’s Honda SUV shortly after 10 a.m. Apblett, 61, also was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police identified Apblett’s wife on Tuesday as 60-year-old Natalie Menzies. She was seriously injured in the crash and was in stable but critical condition at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Moss said.

Investigators initially believed Ezhaya was suffering from a medical condition that caused her to become confused and take the wrong ramp onto the interstate. But Moss clarified on Tuesday that investigators have not confirmed whether medical issues were involved. She declined to elaborate on the evidence supporting the theory or what Ezhaya’s health issues might have been.


The state medical examiner will conduct an autopsy, which Moss said could provide more details about whether she was suffering from a health problem at the time of the crash.

Ezhaya was a former high school English teacher who spent more than 35 years in Maine School Administrative District 6. Many of her former students in the Bonny Eagle schools remembered her in Facebook comments as “one of my favorite teachers.”

Apblett taught chemistry at Oklahoma State University.

“The Cowboy family mourns the loss of Dr. Allen Apblett,” a university spokesperson wrote Tuesday. “He served the university’s chemistry department for over 25 years, cementing a legacy of scholarship and inspiring countless students. A distinguished fellow of the American Chemical Society, the National Academy of Inventors and the American Ceramic Society, Dr. Apblett was published over 100 times, holds multiple patents and awards, and made lasting contributions to his field.”

Family members for Ezhaya and Apblett could not be reached Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the Maine Department of Transportation declined to comment on whether there were issues with the on-ramp’s infrastructure or markings that could have contributed to Ezhaya’s confusion.

The overpass on Bucknam Road at Exit 10 is under construction but no workers were on the scene because of the Memorial Day holiday. He said MDOT construction projects adhere to federal safety and sign standards and are subject to frequent onsite checks from department officials.

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