Thursday, October 13, 2005

Crash kills Scarborough man

Published in the Current

CAPE ELIZABETH (Oct 13, 2005): Heavy rains are believed to be a factor in two separate crashes on Sunday and Monday that killed three people, including a Scarborough man, and injured five others, including a man from Cape Elizabeth.

On Sunday, a single-car crash on Interstate 95 in York killed 21-year-old Scarborough resident Thyrak Ann. He was driving north on the highway when his car slid off the road shortly after 2 a.m.

Ann was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger, Richard Waltz, 23, of Arundel was transported to Portsmouth Regional Hospital and died the next day, according to Maine State Trooper Anthony Keim.

According to Ann’s uncle Sokhann Duong, Ann was traveling back from Connecticut to get to his job at the Marriott Sable Oaks in South Portland Sunday morning.

Duong said the young man had immigrated to the United States from Khio I Dang, a Khmer refugee camp in Thailand, when he was 8 years old.

He said that his nephew attended South Portland schools throughout his childhood and made a lot of friends. He graduated from South Portland High School in 2002.

On Tuesday afternoon a group of Cambodian monks visited the home to bless the family. The monks will return Friday night and will bless Ann’s body Saturday morning.

Ann leaves behind his mother, Lon Ho Ann of Scarborough, a brother, Ron Ann of South Portland, and a sister, Nancy Ann of Scarborough.

On Monday a five-car crash on I-295 in Falmouth killed a 9-year-old boy and injured five others, including a Cape Elizabeth man who was driving a pickup truck that crossed the centerline into oncoming traffic and started the pileup.

Just before 5:30 p.m. Monday, Andrew Bernstein, 49, of Cape Elizabeth was driving southbound across the Presumpscot River Bridge when his Volkswagen crossed over the median and struck a northbound Lexus head-on, according to Maine State Police Trooper John Kyle.

Ryan Guthrie, 9, of Winslow was a passenger in the Lexus, which was driven by his grandmother, June Quirion of Benton. Guthrie died Wednesday morning at a Portland hospital, Kyle said. Quirion was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Guthrie suffered "severe internal injuries and severe head injuries" in the crash. He was not in a child seat, but was wearing a seat belt, Kyle said.

Three other cars piled up behind the VW and the Lexus. A Ford Focus rear-ended the Lexus and bounced off to the side. A pickup truck rear-ended the Focus, and was itself rear-ended by a Mustang.

The sole occupant of the Focus, Lorraine Gressey of Phippsburg, and the driver and passenger of the pickup truck, Nicholas Parent of Kennebunkport and Kenneth Hunnewell of Arundel, were also taken to the hospital for treatment. The Mustang's driver, Brooke Babb of Bowdoinham, was uninjured and her car was considered drivable, so she drove away from the scene, Kyle said.

"It was raining heavy" at the time of the crash, Kyle said, but the weather was "not the primary cause" of the collision.

After Bernstein lost control and his car crossed the median "some things happened" that indicate "hydroplane was not the reason he drove head-on into that car," Kyle said. Bernstein did not return messages left at his home seeking comment.

Kyle said none of the drivers was exceeding the speed limit, and said most of them were going about 60 mph, in an area where the speed limit is 65.

He said no charges have been filed, but said there might be charges, depending on the results of tests of blood samples drawn from all four drivers who received medical treatment. He said those could take "a few weeks to process."