Flowers at the scene Friday of a one-car crash Thursday afternoon that killed two women and a 1-year-old baby as the women walked the west side of Cony Road in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

AUGUSTA — The pedestrians killed Thursday afternoon in a Cony Road crash in Augusta have been identified as two Augusta women and a 1-year-old girl, according to police.

Barbara Maxim-Hendsbee, 69, Rosalyn Jean, 62, and a 1-year-old girl whose identity had not been released Friday died after being hit by a car at about 2 p.m. near 269 Cony Road in Augusta.

The girl was Hendsbee’s granddaughter, according to friends of Hendsbee’s family.

The driver has been identified as Robert Santerre, 56, of Chelsea. Police said he was not injured.

Hendsbee retired Dec. 29, 2017, as an outside advertising representative with the Morning Sentinel, and she also worked for the Kennebec Journal. She had worked with the company since Nov. 6, 1978.

Cindy Stevens, former advertising director for the newspapers and now program director at the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, described Hendsbee as “my bright light,” and said she was beloved throughout the community.


“She was always so positive,” Stevens said of Hendsbee, with whom she worked for about 30 years. “She was literally the best salesperson we ever had. Because she was so personable and creative, she was this little spark plug of energy. Everybody in the community loves her. I’ve had calls from people in disbelief that this fantastic person is gone much too soon.”

Barbara Maxim-Hendsbee Morning Sentinel file

Stevens said Hendsbee’s family was her life, and she adored her granddaughter.

Cathy Levesque, a longtime friend and former co-worker of Rosalyn Jean, said Hendsbee and Jean were inseparable and did almost everything together.

Jean worked in state government for 40 years, specializing in finance with the Department of Environmental Protection, until her recent retirement.

Levesque said Jean, who was known as Rose, lived every day to its fullest, loved people and lived her life for her friends and family, enjoying time with her grandchildren.

“Every day, she was out doing something,” Levesque said of her friend, with whom she worked decades. “When you were with Rose, you knew you were going to have a good time. She loved to laugh. She was not a flashy person at all. She was down to earth and fun. This is especially hard because she loved life.”


Sherrie Kelley said Jean, her friend and former co-worker, was “the magic behind the curtains,” and taught Kelley everything about finance and budgeting related to state government, and helped her advance to the point she became director of finance.

But she said Jean shined even more as a friend, as someone who was there for her friends and their families. Kelley said Jean, whose two children are grown, watched Kelley’s kids’ sporting events and was close to them, recently doing chalk drawings with her daughter.

“She was into her family. They were pretty much her world,” Kelley said of Jean. “She was always the life of the party. She included everybody in what she was doing. It’s shocking. The entire department is reeling.”

Kelley said Jean and Hendsbee were best friends and walked together at least three times a week.

Each woman’s many friends posted comments Friday on Facebook, paying tribute and expressing sadness. They described Jean as the kindest woman they knew and as a beautiful person and friend.

The scene Friday of a one-car crash Thursday afternoon that killed two women and a 1-year-old baby as the women walked the west side of Cony Road in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Lisa DeSisto, CEO of MaineToday Media, which owns the Morning Sentinel, Kennebec Journal, Portland Press Herald, Sun Journal and other media properties in Maine, said the company was devastated to learn of Hendsbee’s death.


“The relationships she built with customers went beyond business and turned into friendships,” DeSisto wrote in a statement. “The team at the Sentinel has always been incredibly close and her loss is heartbreaking to all who worked with her.”

David Madore, deputy commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, issued a statement from the department.

“Rose was a friend to many at Maine DEP during her decades of service to the state of Maine. She was a valued member of the team, remembered for her warmth and her outstanding commitment to service,” Madore wrote in the statement. “On behalf of Commissioner (Melanie) Loyzim and all her colleagues at DEP, we extend our deepest condolences to Rose’s loved ones and to the other victims’ families involved in this tragic incident.”

Augusta Deputy Police Chief Kevin Lully issued a statement Friday to the news media stating the Augusta Police Department was still investigating the crash, which had been reconstructed by the Maine State Police.

Lully declined Friday to say whether charges had been or were expected to be filed against the driver. Lully said additional information on the crash was not available Friday.

Representatives of the Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office were at the crash site Thursday.


Police are asking anyone who has any information on the crash to contact Augusta police.

The crash reportedly involved one car that also hit a utility pole.

At the start of Thursday night’s livestreamed Augusta City Council meeting, Mayor David Rollins asked viewers, during a moment of silence, “to put in your thoughts and prayers the families involved in a tragic car accident this afternoon out on Cony Road.”

There are no sidewalks on that part of Cony Road. There is a sidewalk on Cony Road, from Eastern Avenue to New England Road, but it does not continue past New England Road.

The accident site is near the Capital Area Recreation Association playing fields, between New England and Piggery roads.

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