Three people are dead after a crash caused by a wrong-way driver on the Maine Turnpike in Portland.

When Was This?

It was just after 9:30 Wednesday night when the Augusta Regional Communications Center began receiving calls about a wrong-way driver on the Maine Turnpike. Callers reported seeing a vehicle traveling southbound in the northbound lane at a high rate of speed, near Mile Marker 48 in Portland. The vehicle in question was said to be a gray 2018 Honda Civic sedan.

How Did the Crash Happen?

Maine Department of Public Safety spokesperson Shannon Moss says an initial investigation into the circumstances of the crash indicated that the wrong-way driver first struck a silver 2020 Ford F-150 pickup truck that was traveling north. The driver of the pickup was not injured and reported only minor vehicle damage. Shortly after that crash, the wrong-way driver struck a black 2013 Toyota Rav4 head-on in the area of mile marker 45 in Portland. Upon impact, both vehicles caught on fire and became fully engulfed in flames.

What Do We Know About the Victims?

All three people involved in the crash were pronounced dead when emergency responders arrived at the scene. The driver of the Rav4 was alone in the vehicle, while the Honda that had been traveling in the wrong direction contained two people.

Officials have not released the names of the people involved. Their remains will be examined by the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Augusta.  The interstate around the area of the crash was closed for about two hours while police investigated and cleared the scene.

We'll update this story as more details become available. 

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