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Former Maine corrections officer on trial says he thinks about crash that killed girl every day

By Terry Stackhouse

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    GORHAM, Maine (WMTW) — The Maine corrections officer on trial following a crash that killed a 9-year-old girl took the stand on Wednesday.

Kenneth Morang is charged for his role in a 2019 crash in Gorham which killed Raelynn Bell.

Morang said he does not remember the moments leading up to the crash and was not sure if he fell asleep or passed out.

Prosecutors alleged the former corrections officer was knowingly exhausted from multiple consecutive 16-hour shifts at the Cumberland County Jail but chose to drive anyway.

On Wednesday, Morang testified he did not feel unusually tired after his shift that day.

“I think about it every day. It should have been me that day, not that little girl,” Morang said on the crash.

Earlier in the day, Morang’s wife Eve took the stand, describing him as a provider for the family, including his granddaughters. She recalled seeing him in the hospital after the crash: “He was devastated. He was in shock. He didn’t talk much. He was crying.”

On Monday, the 9-year-old’s father, Michael Bell, took the witness stand.

Bell said he and his three daughters were leaving a movie theater in Westbrook on the day of the crash.

Bell said his car was stopped when he noticed Morang’s truck speeding towards them and there was nothing he could do to avoid being hit before their car was rear-ended.

“This is an F-150 slamming into a car that is stopped at 50 miles an hour. There was no indication of breaking,” said Thaddeus West, an assistant district attorney for York County.

Maine’s Total Coverage reporter Terry Stackhouse is in the courtroom with the latest.

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