GOULDSBORO — Police say alcohol and excessive speed likely factored in a triple fatal accident Saturday night on the West Bay Road. The 2011 Chevrolet Silverado flew off the road, striking trees. The driver and his two passengers died at the scene. Alcohol was found in the destroyed vehicle, which split in half.
In the accident, which occurred just after 7 p.m., Jessob Hayward, 22, of Gouldsboro; 18-year-old Lucas Pottle of Steuben; and Tanner Thibault, 17, of Gouldsboro were killed. The accident took place about 1.5 miles down the West Bay Road from Route 1.
“It looked like speed and alcohol were involved,” Gouldsboro Police Chief John Shively said Sunday.
On Tuesday, the chief said the accident remains under investigation. He said the Maine State Medical Examiner’s Office will determine whether alcohol was a contributing cause. He said the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office also will do an accident reconstruction to verify how the crash occurred. No other vehicles were involved in the accident.
“This death was needless and tragic,” the chief said. “I wish people would understand the risks involved in operating a motor vehicle and the importance of using due care and following traffic laws.”
Assisting Shively and Gouldsboro Police Officer Adam Brackett were Winter Harbor Police Chief Danny Mitchell Jr. and Officer Ken Schuurman and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office. Gouldsboro Fire Chief Tate McLean and crew and the Steuben and Winter Harbor fire departments also were at the scene.
Two of the victims were Sumner Memorial High School students and one was a former student.
In a letter to parents, staff, students and community members Sunday, Sumner Principal Ty Thurlow said the school’s crisis team had mobilized to provide support.
“We know that this is an incredibly difficult time for our community, and we know that there are many difficult days ahead,” he wrote. “We are hopeful that we can all support one another through this tragedy.”