Authorities still investigating crash that killed teacher

By Christina Higginbotham, Foster's Daily Democrat
Posted May 13, 2013, at 5:49 a.m.

BERWICK, Maine — The investigation continues into the fatal vehicle crash that claimed the life of a local special education teacher one month ago on Route 4.

Maine Deputy Attorney General William Stokes said everything is still in speculation on what exactly happened in those final minutes of Amy Harris’ life.

“People are looking for a resolution, but these things take time,” Stokes said on Thursday.

On the morning of April 10, Amy Harris, 34, a special education teacher at the Vivian E. Hussey School in Berwick, was pronounced dead after a vehicle operated by a 17-year-old Berwick Academy student crossed the centerline of Route 4 and hit her car head on.

Harris was traveling with her two children, Abbie, 4, and Luke, 7, at the time of the collision. Abbie suffered lacerations and was released from a hospital on the day of the accident. Her brother was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he underwent surgery for a broken vertebra and torn intestine.

Berwick police have not released the name of the 17-year-old male driver, but they are working to try to uncover what happened at the time of the crash, according to Stokes.

Stokes says the teen, who veered onto the other side of the road and hit Harris’ vehicle, has been cooperative in the case.

“We are looking for an explanation on why the vehicle crossed the centerline. We are taking everything into consideration,” Stokes said. He would not speculate as to whether alcohol or text messaging was a factor.

According to Stokes, investigators and forensics are looking into every aspect of the case to start ruling possibilities out, doing vehicle autopsies, accessing phone records, and reconstructing the crash through forensic digital mapping.

“It’s physics. We’re trying to draw conclusions about the speed the vehicles were operating or when or if braking occurred,” Stokes said.

Harris graduated from Noble High School in 1997, where her stepfather Jon Appleby still works.

Her father, Mark Pendergast, owns Salmon Falls Landscape in Berwick, and her mother, Christine, owns Salmon Falls Nursery in Berwick.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

CORRECTION:

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that a fundraiser was planned for May 17. The fundraiser was held May 10.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/05/13/news/state/authorities-still-investigating-crash-that-killed-teacher/ printed on September 22, 2014