Seven die in Maine traffic accident

/ Source: The Associated Press

A sport utility vehicle speeding into an interstate breakdown lane to pass two cars went out of control and flipped Sunday, killing all seven people inside.

After clipping one of the cars it was trying to pass on Interstate 95 west of Bangor, the Ford Explorer turned sideways, became airborne, slammed into some trees in the median and came to rest on its roof, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Two women and a child were thrown from the SUV, while its other four occupants — believed to be two children, an adult and possibly a teenager — were inside. All of fatalities were believed to be from Maine, McCausland said. Three of the children were under the age of 10, he said.

Firefighters used chain saws to cut down some of the trees in which the SUV was wedged so that it could be righted and removed.

Detectives were attempting to identify the victims. McCausland said the vehicle had been rented in Maine earlier in the day.

Police had no immediate estimate as to how fast the Explorer was going, but McCausland said it had been traveling at a high rate of speed.

In 2002, 14 migrant workers were killed when their van went off a bridge on a privately owned logging road in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.