Gorham police said it will likely be a few days before they release additional information about the death of a 3-year-old boy killed Wednesday night when he was struck by a car driven by a 13-year-old girl.

The investigation has been complicated by the fact that the vehicle was operated by a person too young to legally drive, Police Chief Christopher Sanborn said during a telephone interview Thursday night. Police have not said how the girl gained access to the vehicle. Maine residents must be at least 15 years old to apply for a learner’s permit and 16 to apply for a driver’s license.

“We want to do a thorough investigation,” Sanborn said. “This is an ongoing investigation, so it is going to be awhile before we are able to release any additional information.”

Sanborn said earlier that the two children were not related, and he does not expect to release their names. He would not say why the girl was driving the car by herself, what caused her to hit the boy and whether both children lived on the quiet cul-de-sac where the accident happened. Investigators are still reconstructing the incident, he said.

“It’s too early in the investigation to determine whether there will be any criminal charges at this point, but we’re not ruling that out,” Sanborn said.

When asked whether the girl was driving around the Tamarack Circle neighborhood when she hit the boy, Sanborn said he could not comment. Sanborn said there were witnesses and the girl is cooperating with the investigation.


Officers were called to Tamarack Circle around 6:30 p.m., according to a news release issued by Gorham police late Wednesday night. The 3-year-old died at the scene.

Tamarack Circle is a cul-de-sac located in Friendly Village, a mobile home park with 302 sites located off Hodgdon Road about 5 miles from downtown Gorham. The cul-de-sac is lined with 14 mobile home sites and has speed bumps.

“This is something that certainly affects the community as a whole,” Sanborn told NBC Boston, an affiliate of News Center Maine. Sanborn said the loss of such a young life reverberates because Gorham is “close-knit.”

“Obviously, this is upsetting,” he said. “It’s definitely a tough investigation to handle, a tragic incident for sure, and my heart goes out to the family members.”

Members of a southern Maine post traumatic stress management team came to Gorham on Thursday to help counsel emergency workers who responded to the incident.

The police chief told Newsweek that the 13-year-old girl was alone in the vehicle, which he described as a black, 2012 GMC Terrain, a compact sports utility vehicle. Sanborn has declined to say who owned the SUV.

At least one police vehicle was parked outside a house on the cul-de-sac Thursday morning, but there was no other activity in the neighborhood. A makeshift memorial with a statue of the Virgin Mary, a Teddy bear, and a panda was erected next to a tree near the scene.

A resident of Friendly Village, who did not want to be identified, said she knows the family of the little boy, but out of respect for them she declined to answer questions.

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