WEST PARIS, Maine — Two local teenagers are dead and two others went to the hospital after an early Saturday morning accident caused by drinking and text messaging while driving, Maine State Police Trooper Tom Welch said.
“Alcohol and distracted driving are the primary causation factors,” the trooper said.
The four young people had been at an underage drinking party, Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Sunday.
“They had left that party and were going back to it” when the deadly crash occurred, he said.
State police got the call for help around 12:15 a.m., and when they arrived they found a mangled Subaru Impreza at the foot of a bunch of trees off Route 219.
Passengers and West Paris residents Logan Dam, 19, and Rebecca Mason, 16, a student at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, both were killed instantly, Welch said.
Driver Kristina Lowe, 18, of Paris and passenger Jacob Skaff, 22, of South Paris both were seriously injured. Lowe was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland and was listed in critical condition Sunday afternoon, a nursing supervisor said.
Skaff had serious injuries that were not life-threatening, the trooper said. He was taken to Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway, and was later released.
A state police accident reconstructionist is investigating the fatal crash.
“The car drifted off the roadway, struck a driveway … [and] went airborne,” Welch said. The vehicle hit “a group of trees and came to rest at the base of the trees. The car actually hit the trees roof first.”
Lowe had been drinking and “she was texting,” the trooper said.
The investigation has two parts — the underage drinking party and the fatal crash — that may lead to charges, McCausland said, adding that no charges had been filed as of Sunday.
Once the investigation into the fatal crash is complete, “it will be reviewed by the district attorney’s office to see what charges are appropriate,” he said.
The deaths of the two teenagers are bound to have devastating effects on their communities and the people who love them, Welch said.
“This is just another one of those prime examples of why alcohol and distracted driving don’t mix,” he said. “That is why they are against the law.”