Police continue investigating Presque Isle accident that killed 4-year-old girl

Posted June 21, 2012, at 11:50 a.m.
Last modified June 21, 2012, at 4:42 p.m.

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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Police said Thursday evening that they likely will not be releasing the name of a 4-year-old girl who died in a horrific two-vehicle crash Wednesday.

Presque Isle Police also said they are still investigating to determine why the 73-year-old driver hit the vehicle with the child and two adults in it.

The crash happened on U.S. Route 1 shortly before noon. The child was killed and three adults were injured.

“Where this is a minor, we probably will not be releasing the name of the child,” Sgt. Eric Erickson said Thursday evening.

Though the child’s name is being withheld, Presque Isle police confirmed that she was a passenger in a 2003 Pontiac Montana driven by Sarah Berube, 26, of Presque Isle.

Berube was stopped in the southbound lane of Route 1 waiting to turn onto Craig Road when her van was struck from behind by a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche driven by Arthur Cullins, 73, of Caribou, according to Presque Isle police Sgt. Mark Barnes.

Cullins did not see that the van had stopped, Barnes said in a news release issued early Wednesday evening.

The crash sent both vehicles into the northbound lane and shoulder, forcing other vehicles off the road to avoid a collision, Barnes said.

The child was taken by ambulance to The Aroostook Medical Center, where she later succumbed to her injuries.

Investigators have not said why Cullins hit the vehicle in front of him and are continuing to gather information.

Also taken to TAMC were Berube, Cullins and Jeffrey Ouellette, 31, who was a passenger in Berube’s van.

Officials at TAMC said Thursday afternoon that Berube had been discharged from the hospital.

Police said Wednesday that Ouellette was treated and released and that Cullins had minor injuries. No further information about Cullins’ condition was available Thursday.

The accident is being investigated by Presque Isle police officers Cole Chandler, Chris Hayes and Peter Johnson.

They were assisted at the scene by Caribou police, Presque Isle firefighters, Caribou fire and emergency medical personnel and Crown Ambulance, as well as personnel from the Maine Warden Service and the Maine Department of Transportation.

Chandler could not say Thursday if charges were pending.