A 3-day-old baby delivered by emergency cesarean section after his mother was fatally injured in an SUV crash this week has died.

Gage Weeks had been in critical condition at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor since the Monday accident, according to Skowhegan police Chief David Bucknam. The baby died Thursday morning.

Gage’s mother, Desiree Strout, 27, of Canaan, was driving toward Skowhegan on Route 2 on Monday when her 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer hit black ice just before 7 a.m. Strout, the mother of two girls, was on her way to the hospital to be medically induced into labor to give birth to Gage. She died on the way to the hospital after the accident.

Harry Weeks, 29, Strout’s husband and a passenger in the vehicle, suffered a punctured lung and a lacerated liver and was still hospitalized Thursday, according to Bucknam.

Pamela Clark, of Clark’s Milk Transport in Canaan, where Weeks works, said Weeks’ parents had been stopping by on their way home from hospital visits, but they didn’t Wednesday night.

“The baby must have been having trouble last night,” she said. She said she heard from others that Gage had died.

Clark expected Weeks’ parents to pick up their son’s paycheck Thursday night. She said his parents had told her Monday that he was alert and conscious.

“They did take him up to see his baby. The baby was on like a respirator. They didn’t know if it was deprived of oxygen when the accident happened,” she said Tuesday.

Bucknam said he didn’t know whether Strout’s 8-year-old daughter, who also was in the vehicle, was hospitalized.

Strout lost control of the vehicle near the intersection of East Ridge Road, Eaton Mountain Road and Route 2, Bucknam said. The vehicle hit a snowbank sideways at the edge of the road and rolled over, landing on the driver’s side on a frozen pond. No other vehicles were involved.

“It was not speed,” Bucknam said at his office Monday. “She just hit the black ice and lost control.”

Strout was “fiercely independent,” according to Travis Weston, a relative. He said the SUV she was driving was “her baby, and she wouldn’t have let anyone drive it unless she had to.”

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help cover funeral expenses. As of late Thursday morning, $14,369 had been raised, with 318 people donating.

“Our family is nothing if not strong and united,” the GoFundMe page says. “When something happens to one of us, it happens to us all. With the loss of Desiree, Harry is going to need the time to recover and adjust to a life without his wife. It is for that reason we would like to help him by covering the cost of Desiree’s funeral, and helping as much as we can with their medical expenses.”

Chelsey Anderson, a friend of Strout, told the Morning Sentinel in Facebook messages that Strout was an amazing person.

“Desiree would go the extra mile for anyone and everyone. She has two beautiful daughters and was full of pride and joy to have her first baby boy. Desiree and Harry shared a beautiful life full of love for each other and always cherished each other’s company.”

Anderson is organizing a potluck dinner to benefit Strout’s family. According to her Facebook page, she is looking for donations for an auction at the dinner as well as people to bring food. No date has been set for the event.
Another benefit dinner is planned for Sunday in St. Albans, while another is planned in Skowhegan, but the date and location have not been confirmed.

Emily Higginbotham — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @EmilyHigg

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