April 22, 2018
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Police say interview needed with 6-year-old victim to determine how bus accident occurred

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

LINCOLN, Maine — Investigators hope to interview a 6-year-old bus accident victim — when she has recovered enough from her injuries — to determine how the mishap occurred, Police Chief William Lawrence said Friday.

Though the investigation continues, police believe they have collected all the information they can from other witnesses at the scene, Lawrence said.

“We have stopped getting calls about it” from potential eyewitnesses, Lawrence said.

Ella P. Burr School first-grader Sophia Nelson of Lincoln is believed to still be recovering from her injuries at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, but a spokeswoman there said she had no information to report — a common response when a patient or a patient’s family requests that condition reports be kept private.

Sophia was listed in serious condition Thursday, a day after the accident at Clark and Ariel streets.

A call to the Nelson home was not immediately returned Friday.

Per standard procedure, bus driver Casey Voisine was placed on administrative leave with pay Thursday pending the outcome of the investigation, RSU 67 Superintendent Denise Hamlin said.

Voisine was dropping off Burr and Mattanawcook Junior High School students when the accident occurred about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday. Police suspect Sophia had left the bus and came clear of it just before being struck, possibly by a wheel or the bus’s undercarriage.

A LifeFlight helicopter flew Sophia from Penobscot Valley Hospital in Lincoln to the Bangor hospital. Lawrence said she was “responsive, awake and talking at the scene.”

Police are awaiting the results of a blood-alcohol-content test administered per standard procedure on a sample of Voisine’s blood, but don’t expect to see any malfeasance, Lawrence said. Police interviewed Voisine immediately after the accident.

Voisine, whom school officials have described as a cautious bus driver with a good safety record, was in shock at the accident scene but cooperative.

Lawrence has described the accident as a tragedy for the Nelson and Voisine families.

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