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Serious accident at Sappi mill in Skowhegan

SKOWHEGAN, Maine (From news reports) -- Friends and family of a Wilton woman seriously injured in an industrial accident June 28 at the Sappi North America Somerset mill in Skowhegan say they are grateful for the support she has been receiving on social media and on a fundraising website.

Mindy Sprague, 34, was crushed between a train car and a cement wall, her husband, Ken Sprague, wrote in an entry on his Facebook page.

"She was at work at the train yard where she had jumped off a cart as it was backing into a loading dock area. As the train closed in, she somehow stepped by the end of the concrete wall the train grazes against getting sucked into a 4-inch gap and crushed, as a coworker screamed for the conductor to stop," Ken Sprague wrote after the accident.

The woman became pinned and was suffocating, he wrote.

"She should not have survived. The doctors said people don't survive this sort of things," Ken Sprague wrote. "But she did and she is fighting."

Her organs were crushed, with a lacerated liver, kidneys and internal bleeding and broken bones, according to her husband, who has posted updates on his wife's condition every day since the accident.

A statement on the accident from the paper company's Boston headquarters on Friday said: "On June 28th, there was a railway incident involving a contractor at the Somerset Mill. The contractor was injured, stabilized on site and transported to the local ER."

Renee Woodard, a family friend from Wilton, said Mindy Sprague is back home after surgeries and the removal of breathing tubes at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. Woodard has set up a GoFundMe page on the Internet to raise money for the couple. Ken Sprague is unable to return to work because he is attending to Mindy's needs during the day, she said.

"I've been re-living our entire lives together in my head the past few days -- 19 years with this Goddess," Ken Sprague wrote on his Facebook page July 1. "She has saved me so many times. We have been through so many obstacles in our lives but we always overcame them together. Our bond is stronger than most we've molded our selves into each other much like twins we finish each others thoughts. We pretty much grew up together. She is all I know and I ever want to know she is my everything. I worship the ground she walks on."

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