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Family plans memorial for young woman who died following moose crash

A young Fort Kent woman has died from injuries she suffered Saturday in an accident with a moose on Interstate 95 near Howland.

The family of 23-year-old Maya Linnell said Thursday that they are finding solace in that she was able to hang on long enough to donate organs to save others.

Linnell suffered severe head injuries when the Honda Accord she was driving crashed into the moose at around 1:30 a.m. on July 8. She was transported by LifeFlight helicopter to Maine Medical Center in Portland where she was kept on life support so doctors could complete the organ donation process, according to her mother Lori-Ann Bouchard.

“She was an organ donor and that was just one of many ways she touched lives and helped others,” her mother said Thursday.

“It was her wish [to be a donor] and something we had actually talked about,” Bouchard said. “We are just so proud of her and we know that it was only by her strength and a miracle from God that she managed to stay alive long enough to even get on life support … she should not have been alive after this accident.”

Linnell died on Monday, July 10, her mother said.

Linnell’s family plans to hold a private burial for her. But Bouchard said the family also is planning a memorial for all to attend later this month at the Senior Center in Fort Kent.

“We would like to invite everyone to attend a gathering to talk about Maya, honor her life, and to pay respects.”

Her mother remembers a witty and thoughtful young woman for whom music was a cherished part of life.

“She played many instruments, but loved violin the most. She loved jokes and was a master of puns. She loved origami — my desk is covered with folded pieces of paper she would leave for me,” Bouchard said.  

Linnell’s friend, Skye Buck described her as an “amazing, smart girl,” who played the violin and was an accomplished artist.

“Her skills and talents were endless,” Buck said. “She was a hard worker who made sure everyone around her was happy. … She will definitely be missed by all of us.”

Bouchard said she is proud of her daughter’s decision to give life to others.

“She is amazing. My husband is telling people not to trip on her cape. She is a superhero to us.”

The memorial gathering for Maya Linnell will be held between noon and 3 p.m. at the Fort Kent Senior Center on Saturday, July 22.

Bouchard asks that friends and relatives from away who can’t make it to the memorial take a moment at 11 a.m. on July 22 “to remember, honor, and pray for her.”

In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to help with expenses resulting from Linnell’s death. There will be a box at the Senior Center during the memorial to place cards and donations. Linnell’s family also encourages people to consider donating to the New England Organ Bank.

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