The Searsport couple who have been hospitalized for nearly a week after they were involved in a five-car accident on Route 1 are continuing to make gains in their recovery.

Searsport Police Chief Dick LaHaye said 63-year-old Lois Pelczar and 67-year-old Richard Pelczar remained at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor as of Jan. 22.

“They’re improving,” said LaHaye. “I talked with the family towards the end of last week.”

The Pelczars, both of Searsport, were rushed to Waldo County General Hospital by ambulance and were later transported to EMMC to be treated for injuries they sustained in a five-car accident that occurred on Route 1 Jan.19.

The crash, which resulted in the closure of Route 1 for nearly five hours, caused the death of 53-year-old Thomas Marsden of Scarborough. Marsden reportedly died at WCGH, shortly after he was taken there by ambulance.

To allow emergency crews and police time to process the scene, southbound traffic was rerouted up Prospect Street, across the Back Searsport Road and down Swan Lake Avenue in Belfast, while northbound traffic followed the same path in the opposite direction. LaHaye said extra sand was put on the side roads to accommodate the increased traffic, and emergency personnel were positioned at each end to direct traffic.

Richard Pelczar was a passenger in a 2005 Dodge Caravan that was being operated by Lois Pelczar at the time of the crash, while Marsden was operating a 2004 Mercury Marquis.

Police reported that the Pelczars and Marsden were trapped in their respective vehicles, and the Searsport Fire Department had to use the Jaws of Life to extricate them.

The other drivers involved in the crash were 69-year-old James Rose of Searsport, who was operating a 2006 Mitsubishi pickup truck, 62-year-old Armand Cookson of Farmingdale, who was driving a 2008 Suzuki, and 58-year-old Jolanta Kellock of Searsport, who was operating a 2005 Mercury Mountaineer. Rose, Cookson and Kellock were all uninjured.

Total damage to the five vehicles involved was estimated at $36,000.

The crash took place just before 12:30 p.m.,  according to LaHaye, at the intersection of Spruce Knoll Lane and Route 1. That location is very near the Belfast/Searsport town line.

In addition to Searsport police, Maine State Police and the Belfast Police Department responded to the crash. State police reconstructed the accident scene, LaHaye said. Fire and EMS personnel from Searsport also responded to the crash and helped transport the injured to the hospital, in addition to helping with traffic control.

Police are still investigating the crash. LaHaye said it appeared that a vehicle coming out of Spruce Knoll Lane ended up on Route 1 and caused a chain-reaction collision.

“At this early stage, a key factor in all of it obviously was the weather,” LaHaye said Monday, Jan. 25.

LaHaye said an accident of this magnitude involving so many vehicles will likely be more time-consuming for police to sort out.

“Typically, an accident reconstruction will take anywhere between 45 and 60 days,” he said.