A 10-month-old girl injured in a Waterboro car crash last week died Monday morning, and the man driving the truck involved may face enhanced criminal penalties.

Gabrielle Kennedy

Gabrielle Kennedy had been in the intensive-care unit at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland, where she was pronounced dead Monday, according to the York County Sheriff’s Office.

“No parent or family is ever prepared for the loss of a child, let alone in such a public and horrific way,” the Kennedy family said in a statement Monday. “We ask only for your continued love, support and prayers as we stumble through this journey.”

The family asked for privacy as they grieve, and thanked first-responders and members of the public as well as hospital staff who cared for Gabrielle or sent messages of support.

The injuries occurred when Gabrielle’s mother, Ellen Kennedy, 37, of Sanford, was driving east on Route 202 in Waterboro and stopped in traffic to make a left turn onto Straw Mill Road about 6:30 a.m. Thursday. Her 2004 Jeep Cherokee was struck from behind by a 26-foot, 2019 Freightliner box truck, according to York County Sheriff William King.

Gabrielle was strapped into a car seat inside her mother’s Jeep at the time of the crash.

The driver of the truck, Rene Romero, 53, of Lynn, Massachusetts, was arrested and charged with aggravated driving to endanger, a Class C felony. King said the decision to file charges was made in part because witnesses told police that the truck driver did not appear to make any effort to slow down or change course.

Now King said he will again consult the district attorney to decide whether additional charges are warranted as a result of the child’s death.

Rene Romero appears via video in Biddeford District Court on Friday to face a charge of aggravated driving to endanger.

Romero was a subcontractor who was delivering Amazon packages to a nearby post office at the time of the crash, King said Monday.

Romero is being held in the York County Jail in Alfred in lieu of $10,000 cash bail. If he makes bail, he will not be allowed to drive during his release, per order of a judge.

Romero was driving for DSD Vanomos Inc. of Chelsea, Massachusetts, which was hired by XPO Logistics, which itself was contracted by Amazon, said Erin Kurtz, a spokeswoman for XPO. Kurtz said DSD Vanomos is no longer a contractor for XPO.

“We’re heartbroken for the Kennedy family and we extend our deepest sympathies for the loss of their daughter,” XPO Logistics said in a statement.

No one answered the phone listed for DSD Vanomos Inc. on Monday and a message left for the company was not returned. Its president is listed in Massachusetts corporate records as Denis Rolando Vasquez Vasquez.

Amazon declined to answer basic questions on the record about its business relationship with Romero or the company that employed him.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

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