LEVANT, Maine — Four children are still hospitalized, two with life-threatening injuries, after the minivan they were riding in Tuesday night crossed the centerline of Route 222 and was struck broadside by an oncoming vehicle, according to police.
William Buzzard, 30, of Bradford — father of three of the injured children — had been driving his 2004 Ford minivan east on Route 222 when he attempted to turn left on to the Stetson Road, Sgt. Scott Young of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday. As the minivan crossed the westbound lane of Route 222, it was hit by a 2007 Jeep liberty, driven by Renee Kearns, 35, of Levant, Young said.
Alyssa Buzzard, 5, Caden Buzzard, 7, and Benjamin Speed, 4, all of Bradford, suffered life-threatening injuries in the 7:40 p.m. crash and were taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, according to the sergeant. Caden Buzzard was taken to the hospital by a LifeFlight helicopter.
“Caden and Alyssa are still listed as critical,” Young said Wednesday night.
Speed is listed in serious condition, and Jacoby Buzzard, 1, also remains at the hospital with a broken bone, possibly his arm, he said.
Young said the family had been heading home. He didn’t know whether the children were properly restrained in car seats or booster seats when the collision occurred.
“We are currently investigating that,” he said. “The State Police are still doing their accident reconstruction investigation. We are still waiting.”
Nine people in all, including the four children, were injured in the three-vehicle crash.
After the minivan was hit by the Jeep, it ricocheted and struck a GMC pickup truck driven by John Gomes, 31, of Carmel, who was stopped at the end of Stetson Road waiting to continue on Route 222, Young said. Sharon Pinkham, 45, also of Carmel was a passenger in the truck.
William Buzzard and his wife, Crystal Buzzard, 26, Kearns, Gomes and Pinkham were all treated for injuries at the hospital. All have since been released, Young said.
The official cause of the collision is still under investigation, but alcohol and drugs do not seem to be factors, the sergeant said.
The site of the crash, located about 10 miles west of Bangor, has a unique road design that makes an X shape at the intersection, but with the bottom legs — Route 222 — designated as the travel-through lanes, and the two arms — Stetson Road and Union Road — requiring vehicles to stop.
“It’s confusing,” Young said. “That whole intersection is confusing.”
BDN writer Dawn Gagnon contributed to this report.