Thornton Academy senior killed in Saco car crash
Feb. 22—A Thornton Academy senior was killed early Wednesday morning in a car crash on Mast Hill Road in Saco.
The crash was reported to police just after 12:30 a.m. by a resident who heard a loud bang and then someone screaming for help. Officers found a 2011 Ford Fusion had gone off the road and crashed into a large tree, Saco Deputy Chief Corey Huntress said.
A teenage girl who was a passenger in the backseat was found walking in the road. The Saco Fire Department used the jaws of life to remove two others who were trapped in the car, Huntress said.
Daniel Abbott, 17, of Saco, was found dead inside the car. He had been a passenger in the front seat, according to Huntress.
The driver, 18-year-old Riley Tulley of Saco, was taken to Maine Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. The backseat passenger also was taken to the hospital with injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening. A spokesperson for Maine Medical Center said she had no information on Tulley's condition Wednesday evening.
Mandy Demers, who lives near the crash site, called 911 to report the incident.
"I woke up and heard someone screaming just really loud, blood-curdling screams for help," Demers told News Center Maine. "I came outside to see what was going on, and we saw a girl running up our driveway and onto our deck screaming for help ... I've been living here for about seven years, and this is the third major accident that's almost been right in front of our house."
"I've got kids that are teenagers. I feel bad for the parents. I feel bad for the community. This is horrible ... I don't ever want to get that call as a police chief, and I don't know what else to say other than to slow down. It is not worth crashing a car and losing a life. Not worth it," Saco Police Chief Jack Clements told News Center Maine.
Abbott was an honor roll student at Thornton Academy, where the community is mourning his tragic death, Headmaster Rene Menard said in a statement.
"There are no words to describe the loss felt by our entire school community and our thoughts are with Daniel's family," Menard said. "Riley Tulley is also a senior at Thornton. He and his family are in our thoughts and prayers and we are hopeful for Riley's recovery."
Menard said the school has contacted parents and students, including those close to Abbott and Tulley, to offer resources and support through school counselors and community partners.
Police believe speed was a factor in the crash. An initial investigation showed Tulley was driving south on Mast Hill Road and left the road after passing another vehicle.
The crash is being investigated by the Saco Police Department and a crash reconstruction team from the Kennebec County Sheriff's Office.