September 4, 2013

Driver charged in crash that killed elderly Biddeford couple

By Scott Dolan
Staff Writer

ROCHESTER, N.H. — A New Hampshire man has been charged with negligent homicide and felony drunken driving in a head-on crash Saturday in Barrington, N.H., that killed a church pastor and his wife of Biddeford, Maine.

John Shaw, 48, of Barrington was held in the Strafford County Jail on $25,000 cash bail after his arraignment Tuesday in Rochester Circuit Court in the deaths of Joel and Maxine McLain.

McLains, both 77, were going west on Route 202 in Barrington around 11:35 p.m. Saturday when a Ford Ranger pickup truck driven by Shaw crossed the centerline and hit the Ford Edge driven by Joel McLain, said New Hampshire State Police.

Joel McLain, the pastor of Victory Chapel, a Pentecostal church in Biddeford, was killed instantly.

Maxine McLain, who was in the front passenger seat, was taken to Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.H., where she died from her injuries.

First responders to the crash reported that Shaw smelled of alcohol, according to an affidavit supporting Shaw's arrest filed by New Hampshire State Trooper Christopher Storm.

"He was asked how much alcoholic beverages he had consumed. He stated a few," Storm said in the affidavit.

Parishioners and visitors at Victory Chapel celebrated the lives of the McLains during a service Sunday evening at the church.

The McLains were on their way back to Biddeford from the Beulah Fellowship Family Campground in Canterbury, N.H., where the minister led services for a weekend convention, said Joel McLain's daughter, Beatrix Tucci of Portland.

They planned to be at the regular Sunday night service at Victory Chapel, when the evangelist Israel Ochoa was scheduled to fill in for McLain as guest preacher, then return to New Hampshire on Monday, the last day of the convention.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

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