FRANKFORT, Maine — A 39-year-old woman died Saturday when she jumped into the water at Mount Waldo Quarry and never resurfaced, according to police.
Amy Willey of Bucksport was swimming at the quarry Saturday afternoon with a male companion when she jumped from a 30- to 40-foot cliff into the water, Maine State Police Trooper Lucas Cunningham said at the scene Saturday. When she did not return to the surface, the male called police on his cell phone.
“According to witnesses, she jumped in the water and, she didn’t come back up,” Cunningham said.
Searsport Fire Department personnel rushed to the scene with a diver. Fire and rescue personnel from the Winterport and Frankfort fire departments and state police also went to the quarry, which is located a quarter- to a half-mile from any road that is passable by car. Trooper Cunningham was taken to the scene by a witness on an all-terrain vehicle.
Cunningham said Willey apparently suffered a head injury, but the cause of death would be determined by the state medical examiner’s office.
Cunningham said the accident remained under investigation, but no charges were pending.
Over the past two decades, at least four people have drowned or been seriously injured at Mount Waldo quarry, according to the Bangor Daily News archives.
In late July 1991, Sherry Keith of Levant tried to get the quarry shut down three weeks after her 24-year-old husband, Earl Keith, died in a diving accident. She demanded the town dynamite the quarry closed, but the Board of Selectmen refused her request.
Two years after Earl Keith died, Milton Carter, 29, of East Sullivan was seriously injured when he attempted to dive from at least 80 feet above the water.
Sullivan was pulled from the water by other swimmers who said he hit a rock shelf just below the water’s surface on the edge of the quarry.
In July 1997 and September 2000 two more men were injured. Anders Crosby, 21, of Brooks struck a floating log when he swung over and into the water from a rope 13 years ago. Three years later, Daniel Curit, 21, of Dixmont shattered the bones in his lower body when he failed to hit water while jumping off the granite cliffs.
“Although the quarry has been a popular swimming hole for thrill-seekers for generations,” a BDN article from September 2000 stated, “its placid waters have a tragic history. The quarry has been the site of scores of accidents. Deaths and maimings have been recorded over the years, and there have been repeated calls to drain the quarry and fill the cavity.
“The cost of such a project has never been estimated,” the article said.
BDN reporter Judy Harrison in Bangor contributed to this report.