A Gorham man was killed and his wife, two daughters and a family friend were hospitalized with serious injuries after their SUV collided with a dump truck on Narragansett Street in Gorham Monday morning.

Yvonne Piawlock, 39, was driving the family’s Jeep Grand Cherokee when she lost control on the snow-covered road around 10:15 a.m., police said. Joseph Piawlock, 45, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gorham police were forced to close Narragansett Street near its intersection with Harding Road until about 1:45 p.m.

Gorham Police Chief Dan Jones said there were three girls in the rear seat of the SUV, including the Piawlocks’ daughters and a family friend. Joseph Piawlock was in the front passenger seat. One of the girls – police are not certain which one – was secured in a child car seat. All three girls are from Gorham, Jones said.

“Their vehicle started to slide sideways and the dump truck broadsided them, pushing the Jeep into a telephone pole,” Jones explained. “Their vehicle sustained so much damage that the firefighters had to cut the doors off to get them out.”

The names of the girls were not available Monday night, but Jones described their injuries as severe. One suffered head trauma, one had a broken hip and all three had broken bones, he said.


They were transported to Maine Medical Center in Portland and were listed in critical condition, Jones said. Initially, police thought Yvonne Piawlock had minor injuries, but Jones said she sustained severe internal injuries that weren’t initially apparent.

She was in serious condition Monday night at Maine Med, a hospital spokeswoman said. Piawlock works as a hair stylist, according to a friend who posted about the accident on Facebook but did not want to comment for this story.

Jones said Gorham school officials were notified about the crash and the children who were involved. Gorham Superintendent Heather Perry said all three of the girls injured in the accident are students at Narragansett Elementary School in Gorham, a K-5 school.

“We will have a staff meeting before school tomorrow morning to make sure all staff are aware of the tragic circumstances and know what to say and what to look for in students who might be having a hard time,” Perry said in an email Monday evening. “We will have extra guidance and social work staff available to work with students and staff as needed throughout the day. Our hearts and prayers go out in support of this family.”

There was no school in Gorham on Monday due to the snowstorm.

Jones said the vehicle’s front and side air bags deployed as a result of the crash. He was not sure if the Piawlocks were wearing seat belts.


It wasn’t known where the family was traveling.

“We are not sure where they were going. That’s something we haven’t been able to get from the mother,” Jones said.

Investigators from the Maine State Police Commercial Vehicle Division and the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office are assisting Gorham police with reconstructing the accident.

“I don’t want to get ahead of their investigations,” Jones said. “But I think it’s a safe bet to say that speed was a factor.”

Jones described the road as snow-covered at the time of the crash.

“If that had been a dry roadway this accident would not have happened,” Jones added.


Gorham police said the dump truck is owned by Aceto Construction of Gorham.

The driver of the truck, Dan Aceto, 54, of Gray, was not injured.

Gorham police said the SUV, which was heading southbound, crossed into the opposite travel lane striking Aceto’s truck as it was heading north.

Ambulance crews from Gorham, Buxton, Standish and Scarborough responded to the accident.

Jones said drivers need to slow down and drive cautiously on storm days, even if you are operating an SUV with all-wheel drive or front wheel drive. He said drivers of those vehicles can get overconfident.

“Once you lose traction, it is very hard to get it back,” he said.

Staff Writers Gillian Graham, Kate McCormick and Egan Millard contributed to this report.


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