Extreme cold temperatures and high winds created a perilous situation for five people who were injured in a rollover crash late Friday night on Interstate 95 in Island Falls.

Maine State Police say the Houlton Regional Communication Center received a 911 call at 10:34 p.m. from 42-year-old Anthony Beck of Caribou. Beck reported that he had just been involved in a crash on the northbound side of the interstate and his car rolled several times and was now on its side in the trees. There were three young people still trapped in the vehicle.

Freeing the injured from the wreckage

State Police say the driver and the front passenger of the 2004 Pontiac were able to get out on their own. Corporal Dennis Quint arrived at the crash site first. He was able to help get Beck's girlfriend's youngest child out of the car and allow them to get warmed up in his cruiser until EMS arrived..

The area had a weather warning for extreme cold temperatures and high winds at the time. Temperatures were below zero with wind chill readings around -25°.

A 12-year-old boy said his leg was pinned and he could not get out of the vehicle. A 14-year-old girl had been partially ejected and was trapped in the snow under the roof of the vehicle.

Island Falls and Oakfield Fire Departments soon arrived on scene, along with ambulances from Island Falls, Patten and Houlton. Firefighters used the Jaws of Life to cut the vehicle to free the girl from the wreckage. The boy was able to get out on his own.

All five people were transported to the emergency room at Houlton Regional Hospital for treatment for injuries, frostbite and hypothermia. Their injuries, although some were serious, were not considered life-threatening, Quint said.

Driver in Island Falls crash said he lost control of vehicle in a whiteout

Sgt. Jeffrey Clark, Cpl. Quint and Trooper Noah Castonguay investigated the crash.

Beck told police he was driving north and was using the cruise control function when he drove into a whiteout and lost control of the car. The vehicle went off the right side of the highway and rolled several times before coming to rest on the driver’s side among the trees. Police say the three juveniles in the back of the car were not wearing seatbelts.

I-95 northbound was reduced to one lane following the crash. The vehicle was towed by GR Porter & Sons in Island Falls.

This crash remains under investigation.

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As the tundra begins to freeze over and as Mainers begin their seasonal refuge to the bunker, there are a few necessities needed in order to successfully make it to the other side, where the palm trees reside. 

So, take heed and pay attention to our advice, because these are the exact necessities that will ensure your survivability, mental good health, and that you’ll eventually see another summer season up to camp.