A woman reacts as a car smashes into a van during a June 18 demonstration in Rockland. Screenshot from video

ROCKLAND — A driver who was yelling at anti-abortion protesters in Rockland lost control of her vehicle and smashed into a van owned by the protesters.

According to Rockland police, there was a peaceful demonstration against abortion on Main Street near the Maine State Ferry Terminal shortly after 6 p.m. June 18.

A female juvenile from Hope was driving a vehicle heading north on Main Street and yelled out the window at the protesters, The driver was distracted while she was yelling and crashed into the back of the protesters’ parked van.

Rockland police say the juvenile, who was a licensed driver, mistakenly thought the protest was against homosexuals. Rockland Police Sgt. Andrew Redden said the responding officer did not issue the driver a ticket but talked with her at length to educate her about driving safety.

The van was owned by Mark Cowperthwaite.

Someone was videotaping the demonstration and captured the moment when the juvenile was yelling out the window. The crash could be heard off camera.

The man who was preaching posted a statement on YouTube June 20.

“Open air preaching in Rockland, Maine I began preaching and within 15 minutes there was a lady in a car screaming at my daughters because of their Gospel signs (Romans 6:23 and John 3:3) and making obscene gestures. A second later we heard the crash.

“And after having our only vehicle for our family wrecked, I did the only thing I wanted to do. I preached the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s our only vehicle and it’s going to cost us a lot to replace, but it’s just a van, a rolling pile of metal and glass and rubber. The Gospel going forth is more important than a van,” the post stated.

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