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Bus Driver Suffered Heart Attack Just Before Fatal Crash

August 2, 1988

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ A bus driver killed when his vehicle veered off the highway and overturned had suffered a heart attack moments before the crash, officials said Tuesday.

Dominick Boudreau, 42, died of multiple injuries in Monday’s crash but lost control of the bus as a result of the heart attack, said medical examiner Pat Toman.

The tour bus was carrying 34 children and seven adults from a private overnight camp on Sebago Lake when it careened off Maine Route 3 near the state capital, rolled down an embankment and overturned in some woods.

Two campers and a counselor remained in the hospital Tuesday.

″I thought it was all over,″ said 12-year-old Lee George of Philadelphia, who is spending his third summer at the camp. ″First the bus wavered from side to side. When we hit the trees, I said, ‘This is business’.″

″I’ve never been so scared in all my life,″ added Andrew Stern, 13, of Long Island, N.Y., who sat on a steep bank above the battered bus Monday, his T-shirt stained with blood.

Giles Ouellette, general manager of Maine Line Tours in Brunswick, said Boudreau did not have a history of heart problem, and all the company’s drivers are required to have physical examinations every two years.

Forty passengers were taken to hospitals, most with minor injuries.

The three still being treated Tuesday were Jared Gerstenblatt, 12, of Newton, Mass.; Alex Ney, 13, of Pacific Palisades, Calif.; and Richard Winkler, 20, of Sharon, Mass.

Gerstenblatt was listed in guarded condition at Kennbec Valley Medical Center in Augusta with a broken leg and chest injuries suffered when he was pinned beneath the bus.

Ney, who suffered a broken collar bone, chest injuries and facial cuts, was listed in stable condition.

Winkler, a camp counselor, was in stable condition with bruised lungs and broken bones.

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