BANGOR, Maine — A female passenger in a blue-gray minivan died at the scene of a three-vehicle collision and rollover at the junction of Broadway and Burleigh Road Sunday evening, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said from the scene.
“Speed does seem to be a factor,” the sergeant said, just feet from where the crash occurred between the minivan — registered to a Bangor couple in their 70s — and a silver GMC Envoy registered to a couple from Eddington that rolled over.
The driver of the minivan was “incapacitated” and unable to answer questions about what happened, Edwards said.
The collision occurred shortly after 6 p.m. near Kev-Lan and involved three vehicles and eight people, seven that were taken or drove themselves to area hospitals, the sergeant said. The police department’s accident reconstruction team and criminal investigation division are investigating what happened. At around 7:30 p.m. it was still too early to say what occurred, Edwards said.
“When we arrived with firefighters from Bangor Fire Department, we quickly determined one passenger in one of the vehicles died,” the sergeant said. “One has died and a few have been transported to the hospital.”
Three eyewitness said the Envoy was speeding out Broadway and first hit a tan Toyota Camry, apparently trying to turn into Kev-Lan or Gifford’s Ice Cream.
“They clipped that car there and went out of control and hit the van head-on,” said the mother of Gifford’s employee Cassidy Cook, while she filled out a witness statement.
One vehicle caught fire and someone from the ice cream shop grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran out, the employee said.
A 22-year-old Bangor woman, who lives in the area and who had just pulled into a parking spot at Tom T’s store, heard the Envoy attempting to stop.
“I heard screeching and looked out my passenger window and the SUV was straight up in the air,” she said, asking her name not be used. “The next second the SUV was rolling over and glass was everywhere. It happened so quickly. I’ve never seen anything like it before. I’m a little freaked out. It’s crazy.”
Firefighters used extrication equipment to get the people out of the Envoy, which was heavily damaged and missing its roof. A blue tarp covered the minivan, which had extensive damage to the front end.
One witness said the minivan was stopped at the intersection when hit, and another said it was driving towards downtown.
Dover-Foxcroft resident Sean O’Brian said after the Envoy “nicked that car [the Toyota], it put it sideways and he hit him head-on,” referring to the driver of the minivan.
A large crowd of onlookers gathered at the scene. One could be heard saying, “This is tragic. Just tragic.”
Broadway remained closed at 9:30 p.m. between Grandview and Burleigh, and was expected to re-open in two to three hours, Edwards said.
Police have not released the name of the woman who died or the names of the vehicle drivers but are still looking for people who witnessed the fatal crash or have information about it. Those with information about the ongoing investigation are asked to contact the Bangor Police Department at 947-7382. The anonymous tip line can be accessed by pressing extension 6.
Edwards said police also responded to two other accidents — one in which a person was given CPR — within an hour of the fatal crash.
Watch Bangordailynews.com for more details throughout the evening.