Friends, family mourn loss of Maine man killed in limo crash

Michael Ukaj graduated from high school in northern Maine. (Contributed photo)

WESTPORT ISLAND (WGME) – One of the victims in the New York limo accident was from Maine.

The crash is described as the deadliest transportation accident in almost a decade.

Michael Ukaj graduated from high school in the Bangor area.

He's a 2002 Hampden Academy graduate.

He's also a veteran and moved to New York when he returned to states, but his parents still live in Maine, in Westport Island, and are grieving the loss of their son.

Thirty-four-year-old Michael Ukaj, one of the 17 passengers inside the Ford Excursion limousine that sped through a stop sign last Saturday night.

“He's my baby, I can't even say what I'll miss most,” mother Mary Ashton said.

Days after the crash, investigators are still seeking answers.

Michael's parents are still in tears.

His mother says they were one of the last notified of the crash.

“The officer in charge should have called me as soon as he knew so I didn’t have to sit here and wonder and wonder,” Ashton said. “It was really, really hard.”

Michael's childhood friend, Bradley Armstrong, says when he heard the news he was at a loss for words.

“Both of us being marine veterans, you think you get used to those kind of things,” Armstrong said. “As soon as my mom told me, I just dropped the phone. I just couldn't believe it.”

He's questioning the actions of the limo company, after records show the vehicle failed inspections.

“If my vehicle didn’t past the inspection in New York, it sits there until I can get it fixed. I don’t put my family in it. I don’t put anyone in it,” Armstrong said. “Greed is the best way to put it. The company wanted money. That overlooked safety. And now my best friend is dead because of them.”

Loved ones say their loss won’t be easy, but Michael will never be forgotten.

To donate to help with funeral expenses, click here.

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