Maine State Police on Friday completed an autopsy of the Jeep involved in last weekend’s fatal hayride accident in Mechanic Falls but said results of that inspection would not be released yet.

The inspection of the 1979 CJ5 Jeep took place at a garage in Auburn and involved a team of state police troopers, motor vehicle inspectors and fire marshal investigators, according to a press release from Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. The release said the inspection results will be included in a final investigative report that will go to the district attorney’s office for their review.

“Interviews continue to take place and there is no timetable on when the investigation will be completed by the State Fire Marshal’s Office,” McCausland said in the release. “All of those injured in last weekend’s mishap have now been released from hospitals.”

The hayride accident killed 17-year-old Cassidy Charette of Oakland and seriously injured her boyfriend, 16-year-old Connor Garland of Belgrade. Garland was released from Boston Children’s Hospital Thursday, according to family.

Also Friday afternoon, a memorial service was held for Charette at the Thomas College gymnasium in Waterville. The Charette family released a statement Friday saying they were “overwhelmed and grateful by the outpouring of support in this community and beyond, for our family and friends and all of those who loved our Cassidy.”

“It is a testament of her incredible life, and the impact she had on so many in just 17 short years,” the Charette family statement said. “While she would be dismissive and embarrassed of all the attention, we are finding great comfort in how people have come together to celebrate her. She was everyone’s daughter, sister and friend. There are no words to describe our loss.”

Garland attended the memorial service, according to the statement. A funeral Mass for Charette will be held Saturday at Notre Dame Church in Waterville.

Police have said the focus of the investigation is on the Jeep that was towing the hayride trailer, which was loaded with 23 people. The Jeep lost control down a long, steep hill and crashed into trees, throwing off the driver and all passengers. Investigators have said it appears likely that a mechanical malfunction caused the vehicle’s brakes to stop working, but have not said why.


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