Community mourns pregnant mom killed in crash, rallies to help

CTSY: Jessica Michael

SKOWHEGAN (WGME) -- A Central Maine community is mourning the loss of a pregnant mother of two after she was killed in a Skowhegan car crash.

Police said Desiree Strout, 27, was on her way to the hospital to induce labor on her third child when she hit a patch of black ice and lost control.

Those who knew Strout said she would go the extra mile for anyone, now they're trying to do the same for the family she leaves behind.

Some of the cash from redeemed bottles at The Beverage Mart in Skowhegan will be given to Strout's husband, Harry Weeks, their two daughters, and their newborn son.

"Breaks your heart," said Shirley Lewis, who donated the proceeds from her bottles. "I was sick all day about it, still am."

Police said Weeks and one of the couple's daughters were in the car with Strout on Monday morning, when it rolled over and landed on a frozen pond along Route 2.

Strout was nine months pregnant. Her son was delivered by C-section at the hospital, but she didn't survive.

"It was pretty devastating," said Marty Ashe, a friend of the Strout family. "That's a really sad situation."

Ashe said Strout babysat him when he was a little boy.

"She was always all smiles," he said. "She was just a very nice, genuine person."

Ashe is organizing funds at The Beverage Mart, where he works

"We'll be giving six cents for all the bottles they bring in, so that money will go to them," he said. "We'll also take cash next door."

Pine Street Redemption in Madison is also taking donations, and a GoFundMe page has already raised more than $2,000 for the family.

"It's a wonderful world we live in," said Lewis. "There's a lot more great people than there are bad, and we have to always keep that in mind and help others when we can."

A family member told CBS 13 that Weeks is at Eastern Maine Medical Center with his new son. The hospital isn't releasing any information about the baby, but police said on Monday he was reported to be in critical condition.

Friends will hold a benefit dinner and auction for the family on February 10 at 1:00 p.m. at the Poulin Turner Union Hall in Skowhegan.

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