June 22, 2018
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Bradford girl, 5, dies after accident

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — A 5-year-old Bradford girl who suffered serious injuries in a three-vehicle accident in Levant on Tuesday night died Thursday at a Bangor hospital.

“Alyssa Buzzard has succumbed to her injuries. She passed away at approximately 11:30 or so this morning,” Detective Rick Canaar of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department said Thursday.

“Her brother Caden is still listed in critical condition,” Canaar said.

Caden Buzzard, 7, was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center by a LifeFlight helicopter, police said after the crash.

The siblings were among four children who were injured, two of them critically, when the minivan they were riding in crossed the centerline of Route 222 and was struck broadside by an oncoming vehicle, according to police. Five adults also were injured, though none seriously.

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 onto 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.

The two other children who were injured in the accident were Jacoby Buzzard, 1, and Benjamin Speed, 4, also from Bradford.

Speed, who initially was listed in serious condition, had been upgraded to fair condition by Thursday night, an EMMC nursing supervisor said. Jacoby Buzzard, 1, who also remained in the hospital with a broken bone, also was listed in fair condition, the nursing supervisor said.

Young said Wednesday that the family had been heading home when the accident happened. He didn’t know whether the children were properly restrained in car seats or booster seats at the time of the crash, which remained under investigation Thursday.

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 treated for injuries at the hospital and have since been released.

The official cause of the collision is still under investigation, but alcohol and drugs do not appear to be factors, the sergeant said.

BDN writer Nok-Noi Ricker contributed to this report.

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