Witness, woman in New Sharon crash urge others to be careful driving on icy roads

Julia Burdin says she considers them all to be lucky to have survived
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 6:27 PM EST
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NEW SHARON, Maine (WABI) - Imagine being in a car and watching a tractor trailer jackknife while sliding towards you. That happened to several people in New Sharon on Friday.

TV5 spoke to two people involved who shared video of the crash with us which might be difficult for some to watch.

They want others to know how dangerous roads can get.

Julia Burdin of Strong and her passenger were anxiously creeping along when they were side swiped by a tractor trailer driven by a Massachusetts man.

It jackknifed and began sliding down an icy Mile Hill Road in New Sharon Friday night.

It was all caught on her dash cam.

Burdin did not want to go on camera for the interview but did want to talk to us about how quickly the conditions changed — and how thankful she is that no one was seriously injured in this accident.

”I don’t even know how to describe it. I kind of doesn’t even feel like it happened to me. It doesn’t really show in the video because it seems like it took longer than it did but, I think, in total, me seeing the truck at the top of the hill and then catching a glimpse of him starting to jackknife behind me, it was like, 10 seconds. And then after that it was just a blur,” said Burdin.

”If you’re not a local to New Sharon or around this surrounding area, you don’t know that the top of that mountain is seriously dangerous,” said Heather Cloutier who also shared surveillance video of the crash.

She lives nearby and ran to help when it happened. She says it’s alarming but shows how dangerous the road can be.

”It gets really, really, really bad in the winter,” she said.

We’re told the woman in the first car hit had pulled over because she couldn’t drive on the icy road. She was on her phone with her husband when she saw the truck jackknife. Her dogs also escaped the car and were later found.

The father and son in the next car hit also made it out of their vehicle. The son went running in the woods and his dad slipping on the ice seconds before — the bed of the truck going over him —- we’re told he got up and helped others involved.

The hill was so icy — we’re told it took about 30 minutes for first responders to get to the crash.

We spoke to Maine DOT who tells TV5 they had crews out at the time of this crash, but they hadn’t yet reached Mile Hill Road.

Freezing rain can often cause roads to ice over right away, they said. They also said they do not pre-treat roads.

”I just consider us all lucky that we all survived,” said Burdin.