Authorities investigating the death of a Shriner last weekend in a go-cart crash say the welds on a stunt ramp apparently gave way but they cannot be certain whether that caused the crash or was a result of it.

Sgt. Jason Nein of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said he has received pictures and statements from witnesses to Saturday’s crash in Newcastle that killed Marvin Tarbox Jr., 59, of Hancock.

Witnesses said the Shriners’ go-carts in the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest Parade appeared to be going airborne momentarily over the ramp, which went from the ground up the back of a 1990 GMC Suburban, over the cab and back to the pavement in front of the vehicle.

“They looked like they were having a great time,” Nein said. “Maybe it was a situation of going a little too fast.”

Tarbox’s cart toppled as he came down the ramp. The driver right behind him appeared to try to slow down, but the third driver couldn’t see the crash and hit the rear of the second cart, Nein said. Both crashed into Tarbox’s cart.

There appeared to be no mechanical problems with the carts, he said.

Nein said the ramp appears to have been sturdy, “except for the one point where the front part was welded to where it met the roof line” of the Suburban. That portion of the ramp crashed through the windshield and onto the dashboard.

Nein asked that anyone else who saw or took photos of the crash or the moments immediately before the accident contact him at [email protected] or 882-7332.

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

[email protected]