Police have identified the two people who died in a single-vehicle car accident early Saturday as a Parkman couple.

Investigators from the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office say speed and alcohol appear to have contributed to the crash that killed Pamela Burns, 27, and Russ Silva, 36, who lived together in Parkman.

The crash, which was reported around 12:45 a.m. on North Dexter Road in Parkman, injured a third person who was also riding in the vehicle. That person was airlifted to a local hospital and is not being identified by police. Police have also not said who was driving the car or details about the crash.

Chief Deputy Bob Young said the investigation is ongoing, but “speed and alcohol were certainly factors.” In an emotional post on the department’s Facebook page, Young described the meticulous work of emergency responders and the heartbreaking task of notifying the next of kin.

“On this night I would bring news that would shatter the world of parents and siblings, children and friends. As I made my way to the first home several miles away, I tried to think of what I could say that would in some way bring comfort or at least not bring unnecessary pain,” he wrote. “The truth is, while there are very wrong ways to do this, there is no good way, there are no perfect words.”

Young went on to describe pulling up to a darkened home to do a task he has “done more times than I care to recall” in his 30-year career.


“As I stepped into the night, the chill wrapped around me. I stood at the door for what seemed to me to be long minutes, pondering, wanted to just turn back, get into my cruiser and go home,” he wrote. “I didn’t want to knock on that door, (to) not be the one who would bring the worst news they could hear, (to) not be the face they would forever connect with the worst time of their life.”

Young closed his post by encouraging people to “live each day as if it matters, because it surely does.”

“And don’t take this thing we call living for granted; love those around you and pour yourself into their lives,” he wrote. “It’s how your life touches others that will matter when the weary cop knocks on their door.”

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

[email protected]

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