CLINTON – When area law enforcement officers began their work investigating Sunday’s fatal rollover crash that killed three local kids, one among them went above and beyond his required duties.
That’s according to Clinton Police Chief Stanley Bell, who was talking about Lawrence High School and Junior High resource officer Jeremy Day.
“What I saw from Jeremy was absolutely incredible,” Bell said.
The police chief, Day and every other officer on duty went to the scene of a deadly crash early Sunday morning that took the lives of Thomas Porfirio, 15, and sisters, Emily Baker, 14, and Ashlin Baker, 12.
The crash also injured the unlicensed 16-year-old driver and another young passenger, Nevaeh Wilson, 12. All five of the kids were from Clinton and went to school at Lawrence High School or Junior High where Bell, a deputy for the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, has worked for years.
“He came to the scene and identified the children,” Bell said. “He helped with the removal of the children from the vehicle. He stayed with them. He helped get them loaded to be removed from the scene. He did that because he was their friend.”
The police chief added, “What he did was different than what any of us did.”
“You could just see it – how he cared for them,” Bell said.
The investigation into what happened continues, the police chief said. What is known is the driver took his parent’s car and picked up his friends early on Sunday. They were heading into town on the Hinkley Road at around 7 a.m. when apparently the car hit a patch of ice, and rolled.
The Baker sisters and Porfirio died at the scene and the driver and Wilson each had broken bones.
“It’s a tremendous loss,” said Ashley Pouliot, a relative of Porfirio. “I can’t even fathom and put it into words.”
She went on to thank those who helped at the scene.
“The first responders, Clinton PD has been amazing,” Pouliot said. “Rusty Bell is a wonderful chief. Compassionate and kind. Just tremendous people and I want to thank them first and foremost because it’s a small community. I’ve known them for many years, and they always helped.”