Driver in fatal Lewiston accident has been identified as child's mother

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Throughout the day Sunday, neighbors, family members and members of the community built a memorial to 17-month-old Tiannah Sevey just outside her home at Pleasant View Acres in Lewiston. The child was struck and killed Saturday evening in the parking lot there.

A makeshift memorial stands for 17-month old Tiannah Sevey who was killed when her mother, Taneisha Thomas, ran her over at the Pleasant View Acres apartment complex in Lewiston Saturday evening.

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LEWISTON — It was quiet in the Pleasant View Acres neighborhood Sunday evening, a quiet that one neighbor said was unusual for a warm fall night.

On Saturday night, 17-month-old Tiannah Sevey was struck and killed in the complex’s parking lot. During the day Sunday, a memorial sprung up on a lamppost near where the child was struck.

According to police, Taneisha Thomas, 27, of 50 Fairmount St. struck and killed her daughter just before 5 p.m. at the apartment complex. She had been backing out of a parking place.

The child had been attending her 10-year-old sister’s birthday party, according to police.

The girl was pronounced dead at Central Maine Medical Center following life-saving efforts at the scene and during transport by United Ambulance.

On Sunday, family members, neighbors and members of the community set up a memorial, dropping off stuffed animals, flowers, candles, money, balloons, a Red Sox cap and a rosary. Someone taped a photo of the child to the pole, with a small sign that read “R.I.P. T.T. — An angel is never forgotten.”

A child who stopped by the memorial around 6:30 p.m. Sunday said he had cried in his sleep Saturday, and another child asked a man standing nearby why people had been stopping by all day.

“That’s because there is so much love for one little girl,” he had told the child.

A number of neighbors were sitting outside on their front steps Sunday in the warm night, but declined to speak with the Sun Journal, including the Thomas-Sevey family.

 A neighbor, who declined to be identified, said there had been a lot of traffic “back and forth” through the neighborhood Sunday, “people saying they were sorry.”

According to Lt. David St. Pierre, the case is currently under investigation by Lewiston police detectives, including reconstruction of the accident involving a 2004 Mercury Mountaineer.

A standard procedure blood test is being done to determine whether she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to police.

No charges have been filed, and police estimate the investigation might take weeks to wrap up.

According to state records, Thomas’ license was suspended on Aug. 17 after she was charged with operating under the influence with a prior OUI conviction and operating without a license on Aug. 13 on Turner Street in Auburn. That suspension was stayed on Sept. 11 and she is operating under a conditional license that expires Oct. 7.

She is scheduled for hearing on the license suspension on Thursday.

Thomas was convicted in 2013 of OUI after striking a parked car in front of her home on Fairmount Street in Lewiston. According to the accident report, she was driving a 2000 Subaru owned by Michael Sevey and strayed to the right of the road, striking the car. The impact forced the parked car into two other parked vehicles.

Her blood alcohol level was 0.27 percent.

There were two passengers in Thomas’ car; no one was injured.

In addition to investigation by the LPD, the Department of Health and Human Services and the District Attorney’s Office have become involved in Saturday’s accident.

The Press Herald contributed to this report. 

Lewiston police and residents at Pleasant View Acres in Lewiston react Saturday after a young girl was struck by the SUV pictured. The 17-month-old child was killed.

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