PORTLAND, ME – A young woman was killed Tuesday when the car she was driving crossed the median of Interstate 295 near Cumberland, ME, and struck a WCSH-TV Channel 6 live truck that was traveling in the northbound lane. The WCSH-TV photographer and reporter escaped serious injury after the van rolled on its side, the station reports.
Police said that the car's driver, Heather Bouchard, 24, of Yarmouth, ME, was ejected from her Toyota Corolla. Her body landed alongside the northbound emergency lane, and police said it appears that she was not wearing a seatbelt. Bouchard died Tuesday shortly after emergency surgery at the Maine Medical Center in Portland.
Photojournalist Aaron Twombly and reporter Susan Kimball were treated for scrapes and bruises and released after their WCSH-TV live truck rolled on its side in the middle of the travel lanes.
On the station's Web site Twombly said, "It just sort of happened. All of a sudden the car appeared sideways, coming at us and it was like ... 'this is gonna be bad.' And it was bad. It was horrible."
The live truck skidded on its side for about 300 yards after rolling over, WCSH-TV says.
A witness to the crash told police, "There was an incredible amount of rubble from the demolished car. In a split second the car was demolished and on the roadside."
The impact of the crash was so strong that the engine from Bouchard's car was ripped from the vehicle and sent spinning back into the southbound lanes.
The WCSH-TV crew crawled out a window of the van, a witness said.
The University of New England says that Bouchard was a 2005 graduate with double majors in medical biology and health sciences and was a dean's list student. She was enrolled in graduate courses, and had added psychology to her studies and was working with children.
At WLBZ-TV in Bangor, ME, anchor Kathleen Shannon wrote on her station's Web site, "Our hearts go out to the family of Heather Bouchard ... Whatever the reason [for the crash], it is unfair. She was far too young. Here in the newsroom we all prayed, sent good thoughts, willed that she would survive ... Most of us will carry the memory of Heather Bouchard with us for a long time."