PORTLAND (AP) – The SUV that crashed on Interstate 95 on Mother’s Day, killing all seven people inside, was traveling faster than 100 mph, authorities reported Friday.

A final analysis by the Maine State Police accident reconstruction team found that the rented Ford Explorer was traveling at 103.42 mph.

Three women and four children died May 9 when their rented Ford Explorer swerved into the breakdown lane on the interstate in Carmel, went airborne, slammed into trees and landed on its roof.

State troopers initially reported that Hope Gagnon, 29, was driving in excess of 90 mph when she attempted to pass two cars that were side by side in the travel and passing lanes. Police said Gagnon had a suspended driver’s license.

Gagnon, her son Deion, 8, and daughters T’keyah “Tamisah”, 6, and Ariana, 4, were killed. Also killed were Kelley Armstrong, 28, her son, Kristian, 4, and another woman, Danielle St. Paulin, 29. All three women were from South Portland.

Gagnon’s grandmother has said she believes her great-grandson Deion must have been having a severe asthma attack, which prompted his mother to drive as quickly as she could to get help for him.

Police have said there was nothing to indicate whether there had been a medical emergency. There was no autopsy performed on any of the occupants.

Investigators are still awaiting the results of blood-alcohol and drug tests conducted by the State Medical Examiner’s office.

The crash was the deadliest on a Maine public road since seven occupants of a car were killed when it was broadsided and run over by a tractor-trailer in Richmond on Sept. 5, 1958.

The state’s worst crash occurred on a privately owned logging road on Sept. 12, 2002, when 14 migrant workers perished when their van went off a bridge in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.


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