Driver pleads not guilty in LHS accident case

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AUBURN — A woman who police say hit a Lewiston High School student with her car in January on school grounds pleaded not guilty to related charges Thursday.

Bilow A. Farah, 33, of 10 Knox St., Lewiston, was in Androscoggin County Superior Court to answer a charge of driving to endanger and driving without a license.

Farah spoke through an interpreter, Ahmed Isse of Portland, who was appointed by the court. She pleaded not guilty to both charges, her attorney, Jeffrey Dolley, told the judge.

She was released on personal recognizance, but was barred from having any contact with the alleged victim, a 17-year-old student. She also was prohibited from driving without a valid license pending trial.

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The student, Kelsey Cope-Norris, suffered broken bones in the accident.

Farah, who was driving a white Mercedes SUV, was parked in front of the school at about 7:30 a.m. dropping off her four sons, according to an affidavit filed by Lewiston police. As she started to leave, her vehicle drove off the roadway and down a paved walking path.

Cope-Norris, who was on the path, was knocked to the ground and Farah’s vehicle ran over the girl.

Farah’s vehicle kept moving, hitting several parked, unoccupied vehicles — seven in all.

Police interviewed Farah, who said she panicked and lost control of the vehicle. She had been seen with a cell phone in her hand shortly before the accident, the affidavit said.

A search warrant was seeking access to her phone and records of calls and texting history that might support her having been distracted at the time. Police hoped also to search the Mercedes, which was impounded after the accident.

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