AG handling investigation into crash that killed Berwick teacher

Posted April 12, 2013, at 7:37 a.m.

BERWICK, Maine — The investigation into the cause of the fatal crash on Route 4 Wednesday that claimed the life of a local teacher has been handed over to the state Attorney General’s Office, according to Berwick police.

Amy Harris, 34, died after a vehicle driven by an unidentified 17-year-old veered over the yellow center line and into her lane as she was traveling north. The head-on crash also caused a third vehicle to swerve in order to avoid being involved in the accident.

Berwick police responded to the accident at about 8 a.m. Harris, a Noble High School graduate, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 17-year-old driver, who was also injured in the crash, has only been identified as a Berwick Academy student.

All inquiries pertaining to the crash are being directed to Attorney General Paul Rucha, who was not available for comment Thursday.

Cindy Dumond, officer manager at Salmon Falls Nursery and Landscaping, which Harris’ father Mark Pendergast owns, said a trust fund has been being established for Harris’ two children, who were traveling with her in her vehicle.

Abbie, 4, and Luke, 7, were seriously injured in the crash and transported to area hospitals. They were passengers in the backseat at the time of the crash. On Thursday, Abbie was reportedly home from Wentworth-Douglass Hospital and doing fine, recovering from her injuries. Luke, remains at Massachusetts General Hospital, though he is expected to make a full recovery.

The crash was located just a quarter-mile from Harris’ father’s business.

Harris was a special education teacher at the Vivian E. Hussey School in Berwick.

Harris’ mother owns Salmon Falls Greenhouse on Route 236. Her stepfather, Jon Appleby, is a teacher at Noble High School.

Dumond said she knew Harris dearly and that the tragedy has been really difficult on everyone who knew either her or her family.

“That’s the really trying thing,” she said. “For family to have to drive past the scene on the way her…”

She also said the outpouring of support from friends and community members has been overwhelming. It was from all the phone calls to the business and people offering condolences to Harris’ family the idea to start the Luke & Abby Trust Fund was born.

From customers to banking clerks and accountants for the business, Dumond said everyone who knows the family or business at all has reached out.

“The outpouring is amazing,” she said.

Dumond said Pendergast is planning to eventually do some sort of landscaped memorial at the Hussey School in memory of his daughter.

Those wishing to donate to the Luke & Abbie Trust Fund may send checks made payable to “The Abbie and Luke Trust Fund” to the office of Salmon Falls Nursery, 511 Portland St., Berwick, Maine 03901.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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