ENFIELD, Maine — The three Greenbush women killed or injured when their car veered off U.S. Route 2 and hit a tree earlier this week were celebrating a birthday and had visited a restaurant and a pool hall in Lincoln before the accident, a family member says.
Standing beside an impromptu memorial of flowers, crosses and dolls affixed to the tree where two of the women died, the brother-in-law of victim Kourtney Grindle Murray and cousin of victim Christina Pegg, 18, said their families are devastated by the accident.
“We are all coming together,” John Murray said Thursday. “We are all working together to get through this.”
Murray, 22, of Howland said that on Tuesday night prior to the accident, Kourtney Murray, Pegg and accident survivor Leanna Lancaster, 38, of Greenbush had visited a party to celebrate the 21st birthday of Kourtney’s sister.
Then they ate at Wing Wah restaurant in Lincoln and shot pool at Shooters Billiards Bar & Grill, also in Lincoln, before apparently deciding to head home, John Murray said.
“Leanna was driving,” said John Murray, brother of Kourtney Murray’s husband, James.
Kourtney Murray’s Facebook page lists her last wall posting on Tuesday at 12:33 p.m. “Happy 21st birthday to my sissy. I love u mrs. Boobar,” it reads.
Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department deputies and detectives are working to interview accident witnesses and those who might have seen the three women in the hours leading up to the accident, Sheriff Glenn Ross said.
The car apparently was headed south and left a skid mark of some length in the northbound lane before slamming into a large-trunk tree in a front yard on the northbound side of the road opposite 1268 Route 2 at about 9:20 p.m. Tuesday.
Pegg and Kourtney Murray were dead when Penobscot County Sheriff’s Deputy Peter Stone, apparently the first to discover the accident, arrived and immediately radioed for help.
Firefighters rescued Lancaster, who remains hospitalized at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, sheriff’s deputies said. John Murray said that Lancaster seems to be recovering from the accident.
Like the tree memorial, Kourtney’s Facebook page was lined with messages of regret and shock at the accident.
“Kourtney, this is gram. I love you so much honey. I can’t believe that you are gone from my sight. My life will never be the same. We have shared so much and for that I will always be grateful, Thank you so much for living and giving us twenty four years to enjoy you. My heart aches for you All my love,” read one.
The tree has similar messages scrawled on areas where the white bark had been stripped away. People have been visiting the memorial steadily since the accident, residents said. Still others pull to the side of the road and gaze at it before moving on.
Investigators expect the accident investigation to take weeks to conclude.