CLIFTON – As area community members pull together to help the families of three young residents who died in a tragic car crash, police investigators ask for the public’s help in determining what happened.
Law enforcement officers are trying to piece together what five local youth were doing early Sunday morning, in the time before the deadly rollover accident.
“They were getting together to go out and ride around,” Clinton Police Chief Stanley Bell said Tuesday.
A 16-year-old unlicensed driver was behind the wheel of his parent’s car when he picked up Nevaeh, 12, Thomas Porfirio, 15, and sisters, Emily Baker, 14, and Ashlin Baker, 12.
“The timeline – that it was after 2 o’clock in the morning and that they got together and rode around. I don’t know where they were in the time between 2 and 7 but that’s part of what we’re working on now,” Bell said.
The teenager was driving on Hinckley Road shortly after 7 a.m. when the vehicle apparently hit a patch of ice and rolled over, smashing against a tree. The Baker sisters and Porfirio died at the scene. The driver suffered a broken collar bone and Wilson suffered a broken femur, and possibly a broken hip.
Investigators are asking the public for help.
Bell said they are looking for “everything that we can gather. Social media, anybody who knows anything about any of them, any of the parents whose children may know them. Do they have any social media posts? Do they have any texts, Facebook messages, anything they received from the children about the activity? Where they were going? What they were doing? Any of that information is critical to us.”
While that work continues, family and friends remember those they lost.
“He was an all-around avid baseball player and sports fan,” said Ashley Pouliot, a family member of Porfirio. “Very family-oriented kid. A great kid.”
She added, Porfirio’s parents are “very emotional, as any parent would be” but are supported by friends and relatives. They are planning his funeral for Saturday, but have not finalized the details, Pouliot said.
The Baker sisters were very well-liked, said Vicky Bowring, who is a family friend.
“Emily was really outgoing, very outgoing. She had a lot of friends. Very, very, social,” Bowring said. “Ashlin was really shy if she didn’t know you but once you got to know you she was really super sweet.”
Both girls, “loved to pull pranks.” she added.
The Dairy Queen on Kennedy Memorial Drive in Waterville is hosting a fundraiser Feb. 18 and 19 with 25 percent of all sales to be donated to the families, according to Pouliot.
DMS Decals & Vinyl Designs owner Danielle Sullivan, who grew up in Clinton, is selling stickers that feature the school’s bulldog mascot with the words “Bulldog Strong” for $6, with $5 from each sale donated to the families.
Legion Riders Post 14 in Fairfield and the Chrome Angels are planning an upcoming spaghetti dinner and 50-50 raffle to benefit the families, Pouliot said.
Investigators still have not interviewed the driver or Wilson, but expect to get a search warrant Tuesday for the vehicle autopsy.
“Then we’ll know if there were any pre-crash malfunctions with the vehicle and we’ll get the input from the steering and the braking and all that,” the police chief said.