Fatal Broadway accident case from June still open, police say

Bangor firefighters look under a vehicle that was involved in a three-car fatal accident in front of Gifford's Ice Cream stand on Broadway in Bangor on Sunday, June 10, 2012.
Bangor firefighters look under a vehicle that was involved in a three-car fatal accident in front of Gifford's Ice Cream stand on Broadway in Bangor on Sunday, June 10, 2012.
Posted Oct. 03, 2012, at 5:06 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The driver of a minivan involved in a head-on collision on Broadway in June — resulting in his wife’s death and injuries to an Eddington family of three — may never be able to tell police what happened.

“It would be helpful if he could remember,” Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Wednesday of Bangor resident Ralph Morrison, 72. “He’s incapacitated to the point that he could not give much information.”

The investigation into the fatal crash is continuing, so details about whether Morrison’s vehicle had any mechanical problems, whether he had a health problem that contributed to the crash or whether the fatal collision was due to driver error are not available, the sergeant said.

“It’s not done yet,” Edwards said of the investigation.

Police say Morrison was driving a 2007 Hyundai minivan outbound on Broadway at about 6 p.m. on June 10 when he first struck a 2000 Toyota Camry, also headed outbound, and then went out of control and hit — head-on — a 2002 GMC Envoy that was heading in the opposite direction into town.

The crash, which occurred near the Kev-Lan coffeeshop at the junction of Broadway and Burleigh Road, resulted in the death of Morrison’s passenger and wife, Diane Morrison, 68. The couple had been married for nearly 30 years and were celebrating their anniversary, a stepdaughter said shortly after the collision. She described her stepfather as a slow driver.

The surveillance camera video taken from Tom T’s convenience store on Broadway clearly shows Morrison’s speeding minivan smashing into the Envoy, driven by Lisa Pelkey, 46, of Eddington. A thick cloud of white smoke follows his out-of-control vehicle as it strikes the Envoy and becomes airborne. After the collision, Morrison’s vehicle can be seen on the video spinning around and coming to a rest facing in the same direction he was originally traveling.

As the smoke clears, the heavily damaged Envoy comes into view on its side in the grass on the side of the road where Kev-Lan is located. Pelkey and her passengers, husband Ray Pelkey and daughter Alyssa Pelkey, 11, all were injured in the crash, Edwards said.

“They’re still not completely healed,” he said Wednesday. “They’re still going through doctor’s appointments and that type of thing. There are doctor appointments and some surgeries that are coming up.”

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