GREENBUSH, Maine — Kourtney Grindle Murray and Christina Pegg should never be forgotten, their friends and family say.
The 24-year-old Kourtney, they said, loved to sing and had dreams of raising a family with her husband, James Murray. Chrissy, as they called Pegg, loved to write poetry and read. God help the poor unfortunate person who dared to interrupt the 18-year-old in the middle of a book, her family said.
“If she was reading, you really didn’t want to mess with her,” said Jessica Murray, Kourtney’s sister-in-law. “She would read a book a day.”
Though both were lively, adventurous and kindly souls, Chrissy was the one known for taking great pride in being right — and playfully reminding others whenever that happened.
Memories of the two young women prompted about 20 relatives, friends and neighbors to hold a candlelight vigil and walk around the Military Road neighborhood Monday night where the two lived with Kourtney’s family the last two years.
“This is an area that meant so much to them,” Murray said.
With family friend and accident survivor Leanna Lancaster, 38, of Greenbush, behind the wheel, Murray and Pegg were killed when the car they were riding in slammed into a tree on U.S. Route 2 in Enfield on June 15. Lancaster suffered extensive injuries and is recovering.
The three women had finished celebrating the birthday of Kourtney’s sister, 21-year-old Katie Boobar, at a Lincoln restaurant and then a Lincoln pool hall and were on their way home when the accident occurred, family members said.
Monday’s memorial service was “sort of a form of closure for us,” said Raymond Grindle, Kourtney’s father, who was with the trio at the pool hall shortly before the accident. “They were taken from us so early.”
Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department deputies and detectives are continuing their accident investigation. They don’t expect a resolution anytime soon.
“It’s going to take a few weeks to even get anything back to us from the lab,” Sgt. Scott Young said Tuesday.
Per standard procedure, toxicology examinations were done on blood taken from the three women, investigators have said. The tests determine whether drugs or alcohol are factors in accidents.
Family and friends of the deceased said they didn’t want to comment on the accident until the investigation is finished, but noted that Lancaster is a close and longtime friend of the families involved.
Family members took mementos left at the crash scene to the victims’ house last week because the owners of the Route 2 home in whose yard the accident occurred plan to cut down the tree. They have a young child who was upset by the accident, Grindle said.
“We are totally understanding and respect their wishes,” Grindle said.
The families hope to add portions of the tree to the Military Road memorial and hold an annual memorial service there, he said.
The accident has traumatized James Murray, who family members said also recently suffered the death of a friend killed in a motorcycle accident — a friend who had been traveling to visit him because of the Enfield accident.
For Grindle, who already had lost a grandson and Kourtney’s twin sister when the girls were newborns, the accident was a nightmarish reminder of things he saw when he was a Howland volunteer firefighter.
“Back then I would go to accidents and see people [who had lost loved ones], and I would think, ‘I never want to be one of them. Well, now I am,” he said. “I don’t know how people get through this. I really don’t.”