STOCKHOLM, Maine — Maine State Police have released the names of four people who were killed Monday morning in a head-on collision involving an SUV and a sedan on Route 161, north of Caribou.
Pronounced dead at the accident scene were Kimberly Lausier, 38, of Madawaska, who was driving a southbound SUV; Bobbi-Jo Johnston, 33, of Fort Fairfield, who was the driver of the sedan; Johnston’s mother, Laurie Ann Johnston, 52, of Carlingford, New Brunswick; and Johnston’s 2-year-old daughter, Alana A. Nelson, according to Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland.
Robert Lausier, 53, who was a passenger in the SUV, survived and was taken to Cary Medical Center in Caribou and subsequently transferred to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor with serious injuries to his lower extremities that were not considered life-threatening, according to McCausland.
The crash happened just before 10:30 a.m. on Route 161 near Rainbow Cove in Township 16 Range 4 near Stockholm, about 15 miles north of Caribou, McCausland said.
Lausier was attempting to pass a tractor-trailer when her SUV struck Johnston’s car head-on, McCausland said.
He said hydraulic extrication equipment was needed to remove the crash victims from the wreckage and that they were brought to Mockler Funeral Home in Caribou.
McCausland said state police had interviewed witnesses on Monday but had yet to speak with the driver of the tractor-trailer, who might not have realized the crash occurred.
McCausland said state police are asking anyone who might have been operating a tractor-trailer with a box-style trailer south near Rainbow Cove to call the Houlton barracks at 532-5400.
According to the National Weather Service in Caribou, the temperature was around 12 degrees at the time of the crash with snow showers and light winds. Route 161 was closed and all traffic was detoured around Lakeshore Road, according to a dispatcher and North Lakes Fire and Rescue. The road reopened shortly after 5 p.m., according to the Maine Department of Transportation.
While not common, Maine has had its share of car crashes with multiple fatalities over the years.
“It’s not unheard of,” McCausland said.
Over the past decade, four other crashes have claimed four or more lives, according to statistics provided by the Maine Department of Transportation’s accident records section.
In 2004, three adults and four children all riding in the same car were killed when the driver attempted to use the breakdown lane near the Carmel exit to pass another vehicle at speeds in excess of 90 mph, clipped another vehicle and rolled over into the median.
Icy roads were said to be the contributing factor in a two-vehicle accident that claimed the lives of six people in their teens and early 20s over Christmas weekend 2006 on Route 122 in Poland.
In April that same year, four sisters died instantly when their car strayed into the path of a logging truck that ran over their car on Route 11 in Ashland.
Two brothers and a father and son were killed Christmas Day 2011 in a two-vehicle accident on snow-covered roads on Route 3 in Palermo.
Maine’s deadliest motor vehicle accident was in 2002 when a van carrying woods workers native to Guatemala slid off the St. John’s Bridge into the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.
Fourteen of the van’s 15 occupants were killed in the accident.
BDN writer Dawn Gagnon contributed to this report.