Crash kills four sisters

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ASHLAND (AP) – Four girls from the same Ashland family were killed Monday when the car they were in collided head-on with a logging truck on Route 11 in this northern Maine town, police said.

The girls, ages 3 to 16, were riding northbound in a Pontiac Sunfire about four miles south of the town center when their car veered into the oncoming lane at about 11:30 a.m., said Police Chief Cyr Martin.

“The truck tried to get out of the way, but it was too quick and he ended up driving over the car, killing them instantly,” Martin said.

He identified the victims as Paige Long, 16, who was driving, and her 15-year-old sister, Melinda Long, along with their stepsisters, 5-year-old Victoria Basso and 3-year-old Trinity Basso.

Police closed down Route 11, the north-south road from Sherman Mills to Fort Kent. It was still closed on Monday night as local and state police reconstructed the accident scene.

The victims were the daughters of Joe and Deana Basso, Martin said. The accident happened about a quarter of a mile from their home.

“This is a tight-knit community and the Bassos are well-known in town,” Martin said. “It’s really hard. A lot of the firefighters and my officers have had a hard time dealing with this.”

The accident is still under investigation, the chief said.

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