November 7, 2009: Authorities are conducting an investigation in the cause of a crash that killed a mother and daughter in Auburn on Saturday. Police reported that a truck hauling an trailer was traveling eastbound on Minot Avenue when it crossed the center line and stuck a 2003 Oldsmobile that was traveling westbound. The operator of the Oldsmobile, a 36-year-old woman from Auburn was killed instantly. Her 4-year-old daughter later died at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewsiton. The operator of the truck, a 43-year-old man from Norway and a passenger from each vehicle were in critical condition at CMMC Saturday night.
Police did not immediately release any names. The cause of the crash was still under investigation late Saturday.
At Peter Thompson & Associates, our attorneys and crash scene investigators have investigated many similar accidents. Frequently driver inattention or distraction is the cause. For example, an accident we investigated recently turned out to be due to a driver talking on a cellphone. Although the driver initially claimed that he wasn’t talking on the phone immediately before the accident, we were able to obtain copies of his cellphone records which revealed he lied about that important information. The case was successfully resolved.
Improper speed is also another common factor. Our investigations of accidents generally result in accident reconstructions that look at skid marks, damage to the vehicles, and the distance travelled by the vehicles after the collision to determine the speed of the vehicles immediately prior to impact. We also are able in many cases to obtain data from the vehicles internal computers about speed immediately prior to impact. Witness statements are also crucial information in determining whether excessive speed was a factor in the accident. It is critical that an investigation begin immediately after the accident has occurred in order to preserve physical evidence and obtain statements from witnesses before memories of events fade.