April 05, 2020
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3 women hit by car on church steps

STOCKTON SPRINGS – Three churchwomen were struck by an out-of-control car that raced across the Stockton Community Church steps as they were climbing the stairs to attend Sunday service.

Carleen Murphy, 74, and Michelle Gray, 24, both of Stockton Springs, and Alberta Lawry, 69, of Deer Isle suffered non-life-threatening head injuries, according to Maine State Police Trooper Luke Cunningham.

They were taken by ambulance to Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast and were all later transferred to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, he said.

Late Sunday, a nursing supervisor at the Bangor hospital could provide no information on Murphy or Gray, but said Lawry was still being evaluated.

Lawry landed on the hood of the Toyota Corolla driven by Pearl Seekins, 84, of Searsport, who was attempting to park her car to attend church, too. The accident happened at 9:40 a.m. Beverly Russell, 68, of Stockton Springs was a passenger in Seekins’ car. Both were wearing seat belts.

Neither the driver nor passenger was injured, Cunningham said, but Seekins was taken to Waldo County General Hospital because she was shaken by the incident.

On her way to church, Seekins was driving north on Church Street and was making a U-turn to enter a parking spot on the opposite side of the street, the trooper said.

About halfway through the turn, the vehicle accelerated out of control. Two tires crossed the steps, hitting the pedestrians, while two tires remained on the road.

The car ran parallel to the road for about two car lengths. It crisscrossed Church Street and at one point hit a parked vehicle and a tree in the southbound ditch on a residential lawn. It then went back across Church Street and came to rest on the other side of Church Street.

Lawry apparently fell off the hood when the car had traveled halfway across Church Street.

Churchgoers attended to the injured women until rescue workers arrived.

No charges are anticipated, Cunningham said, and Seekins’ car will undergo an inspection by state police to determine if there were mechanical defects that caused the accident.

State police Sgt. Tom Ballard, Trooper Elisha Fowlie, the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office, Stockton Springs Fire and Ambulance, Searsport Ambulance and Belfast Ambulance responded to the accident.


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