ASHLAND (AP) – Businesses in this northern Maine lumber town shut down Saturday as hundreds of friends and family members gathered to remember four sisters who were killed when their car strayed into the path of a logging truck.

Funeral services for Paige Long, 16, Melinda “Mindy” Long, 15, Victoria Basso, 5, and Trinity Basso, 3, were moved from Ashland Central School to the gymnasium at Ashland Community High School to accommodate the crowd.

The close-knit community has rallied in support of the girls’ family, donating flowers and food and contributing to The 4 Sisters Fund.

At the family’s request, the news media was not permitted to attend the funeral service.

Pictures of the four girls were placed on poster boards on tables in front of the gym and mourners lined up to view the pictures.

Paige, who was behind the wheel during Monday’s accident, was a top student who was preparing to graduate from high school a year early and attend Northern Maine Community College.

Mindy played third base on the softball team and was headed with her sisters to the high school for a game when the crash occurred.

Victoria loved to sing and dance, while Trinity liked to collect bugs.

A local hotel, a gas station, a convenience store and other businesses around town were shut down during the service, posting signs that read “closed from 1 to 4” or “closed from 1 to the end of the funeral”

The funeral was followed by a private burial service at the Ashland Municipal Cemetery.

The smell of diesel fuel still lingered at the accident scene on Route 11, four miles from the center of town. Friends and schoolmates placed memorial bouquets of flowers at the site, along with a couple of wooden crosses and some letters.

AP-ES-04-22-06 1514EDT