Update: Driver may have traveled 4 miles in wrong direction on I-295 before Freeport crash

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FREEPORT — Police believe the driver killed in a Jan. 25 collision on Interstate 295 drove north in southbound lanes for about four miles before his death.

Daniel A. Cressey, 78, of Gorham, was killed when his Saturn sedan hit a Lexus sport utility vehicle driven by Mary Warner, 58, of Holden, Maine State Police Trooper John Kyle said.

Kyle said he is still investigating the circumstances of the accident and Cressey’s medical condition.

“I am pretty confident (Cressey) got on the highway at Exit 20,” Kyle said.

Exit 20, Desert Road, is two miles south of the Mallet Road exit, initially suggested as Cressey’s highway entry point by Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland.

The accident occurred about two miles north of the Mallet Road exit, almost exactly at the Mile 24 marker on the highway, Kyle said.

He said phone logs at the state police barracks in Gray recorded calls for about four minutes as Cressey drove against oncoming traffic before hitting Warner’s SUV.

One witness made several calls to the barracks as she tried to alert southbound drivers about Cressey. Kyle said the woman, who also reported the eventual accident, flashed her high beams at oncoming vehicles in the opposite lanes.

Warner, who was reported in satisfactory condition Tuesday at Maine Medical Center in Portland by a hospital spokesman, is a physician who was on her way to work in Boston when the accident occurred at 7:11 p.m., Kyle said.

Kyle said Warner told him she was in the southbound passing lane, driving between 68 mph and 70 mph, when a vehicle ahead of her swerved suddenly.

That vehicle avoided colliding with Cressey’s car, and Kyle said Warner’s quick actions were a reason she was not more severely injured. Warner sustained two broken ankles and broken ribs on her left side.

Warner and Cressey were an estimated 20 feet apart when Warner swerved to avoid a head-on collision. The quick maneuver, the height of her vehicle and deployment of five air bags all helped save Warner from more extensive injuries, Kyle said.

He said Cressey had a medical restriction on his driver’s license, but he still must interview Cressey’s physicians to determine if the restriction meant he needed medications to drive or should not have been driving because of medicine he was taking.

Blood samples from both drivers have been sent to the Office of the Maine State Medical Examiner, and Kyle said it will be a couple of weeks before test results are available.

Kyle said air bags in Cressey’s car deployed, but made little difference because of the strength of the collision and because his sedan was lower to the ground than the SUV driven by Warner.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net.

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Mary Warner, 58, of Holden remains hospitalized at Maine Medical Center in Portland after her SUV was struck nearly head-on Jan. 25 on Interstate 295 in Freeport by the red sedan in the background. The driver of the sedan, Daniel Cressey Sr., 78, of Gorham, was killed.

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.