Two construction workers are still in a critical care unit after the van they were driving crashed on their way to campus last week.

On April 5, three employees of Knowles Industrial Services of Gorham, the contractor that the College hired to do masonry for the renovations of Appleton and Hyde Halls, were traveling south on Interstate 295 toward their Bowdoin job site. The driver lost control of the van and crashed, seriously injuring two of the men.

James Wise, a craftsman, and Troy Merrill, a mason tender, both remained in the critical care unit at Central Maine Medical Center (CMMC) in Lewiston as of yesterday. According to their supervisor, Scott Doucette, Merrill is paralyzed from the neck down and remains in critical condition. As of Tuesday, Wise's condition was no longer listed as critical.

The driver, Daniel Graf, was released from Maine General Medical Center on the same day he was admitted.

According to a news release filed by Maine Department of Public Safety Spokesperson Steve McCausland, the workers were attempting to pass another vehicle just north of the Interstate 295 exit for Richmond when their van hit a patch of black ice, skidded, and rolled over three or four times before coming to a rest against some trees off the side of the highway.

Wise was thrown through the windshield of the van. He was airlifted to CMMC for treatment. The other men were transported by ambulance.

Bryant Pasamen, who worked with the three victims for approximately six months, said that the Bowdoin crew noticed that something was amiss when the men did not show up at work that morning. He also said that they have been missed on the job site.

"They're a great bunch of guys," he said.

Doucette, who has supervised Wise for two years and Merrill for one, characterized Wise as "very sporty and athletic" and Merrill as "happy-go-lucky."

He described both as "excellent workers."

He mentioned that because the crews often work together on out-of-state contracts, camaraderie among the workers is strong.

"When you spend five or six days on the road with a crew, you get close to them," he said.

"Last week the mood was very, very sad," he added.