November 1, 2012

Teens weren't wearing seatbelts in fatal Winslow crash

Driver wasn't allowed to operate with non-family passengers, according to police

By Ben McCanna bmccanna@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

WINSLOW -- A teenaged driver who was killed in a crash Friday had an intermediate driver's license, according to police.

click image to enlarge

Scott Loisel

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Alexandria Ferland

Scott Loisel of Winslow and Alexandria Ferland of Vassalboro, both 16, were killed Friday night when the car Loisel was driving crested a hill at about 70 miles per hour, lost control and slammed into an oncoming taxi, according to Winslow police Lt. Josh Veilleux. Three people in the taxi were hospitalized.

Neither of the teenagers was wearing a seatbelt, Veilleux said.

Loisel's outing with Ferland violated a license restriction that applies to new juvenile drivers. For the first 180 days after receiving a license, drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from carrying passengers who are not family members, unless they are accompanied by a passenger who has held a driver's license for at least two consecutive years, according to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Veilleux said he received a certified copy of Loisel's driving record Wednesday, which showed that Loisel's license was intermediate through the end of November.

Another licensing restriction prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from driving between midnight and 5 a.m. The accident was reported to dispatchers at 11:05 p.m.

Veilleux said the crash is still under investigation. It is unknown whether drugs or alcohol were involved, but blood samples taken from Ferland and Loisel should yield results by the end of the November, Veilleux said, along with a crash reconstruction report from the Kennebec County Sheriff's Office.

Funerals for the teenagers are scheduled for today. Loisel's service begins at 1 p.m. at Faith Evangelical Church on Kennedy Memorial Drive, Waterville. Ferland's is at 4 p.m. at Veilleux Funeral Home on Elm Street in Waterville.

Veilleux said Wednesday there are no updates in the investigation or the condition of the three adults in the taxi, which was southbound on South Reynolds Road about two miles from the intersection with China Road when it was struck.

The cab was driven by Jamie Howard, 36, of Waterville. Riding in the front passenger seat was Brian Roy, 43, of Winslow. David Green Jr., 41, of Belgrade, was in the back seat. Howard and Green were taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center's Thayer Campus in Waterville. Roy was taken to Inland Hospital in Waterville, then transferred to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. All three were listed in stable condition Saturday.

A dispatcher at Elm Street Taxi wouldn't comment on a reporter's questions about the crash or Howard's condition and messages left with the business owner were not returned.

After the crash, both cars were taken to an impound lot in Augusta, according to Veilleux, not the state crime lab, as was previously reported.

On Monday, counselors from area schools were prepared for high school students grieving the deaths. Winslow High School principal Doug Carville said the entire school staff, including about 10 counselors, met at 7 a.m. to discuss the range of reactions that students might experience.

"We outlined our desire to have the day be as normal as possible with the understanding that some people would need other kinds of support," he said.

Students who are affected by the deaths might experience a lack of concentration, a lack of appetite, sleeplessness or anger -- all of which are normal reactions, Carville said. If, however, a parent notices their child seems isolated, reckless or gives away possessions, then grief counseling is advised, he said.

The range of reactions can occur even if students weren't closely associated with Loisel or Ferland, Carville said. Parents should be prepared to offer their children support, listen to their concerns and provide them opportunities to spend time with other students.

At the end of the school day Monday, about 400 students gathered in the gymnasium for a group photo as a gesture of support and solidarity. Many of the students also signed posterboards with their messages of remembrance and support for Ferland and Loisel's families.

Memorial funds for each teenager have been established at TD Bank.

Ben McCanna -- 861-9239

bmccanna@centralmaine.com

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