BUCKSPORT, Maine — Grief counselors were helping students at Bucksport High School cope Friday with the death of 15-year-old classmate Taylor Darveau, who was killed in a car accident the night before.
Darveau, a cheerleader, attended a dinner Thursday night for football players and cheerleaders that was held at the school, according to RSU 25 Superintendent Jim Boothby.
The crash was reported to police at 6:22 p.m., not long after the dinner.
Darveau was a passenger in a 1999 Subaru station wagon driven by Samantha Goode, 16, according to a press release issued by the Police Department late Friday morning.
The vehicle was traveling north on Bucksmills Road when it left the road and hit a tree, according to the release. The cause of the crash has yet to be determined.
Bucksport Police Chief Sean Geagan would not disclose information about the driver’s condition.
Darveau was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where she was pronounced dead, the release states. No other details about the crash were available as of noon Friday.
The fatality marked the 108th this year, compared with 128 at this same time a year ago, according to the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety. So far this year, there have been nine motorists ages 15 to 19 killed in crashes — five drivers and four passengers, according to Michelle Ward, the bureau’s highway safety coordinator and fatal crash reporting analyst.
The grief counselors were available at Bucksport High School at 7 a.m. Friday, according to Boothby. Students also were allowed to gather in the school’s library to mourn Darveau’s death. Between 100 and 150 students were in the library throughout the morning, Boothby said.
Counselors also will be available from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the school.
Darveau’s teachers said the student was outgoing and well liked.
“She was just the type of student you want to have at your school and in your class,” said Josh Tripp, Darveau’s math and homeroom teacher. “That was evident within a month.”
Darveau, a freshman, was new to the school.
Bill Tracy, a social studies teacher and softball coach, said that Darveau was a gifted athlete. He had coached her in softball at Bucksport Middle School.
A makeshift memorial was created for Darveau at the site where the accident occurred. At 12:30 on Friday afternoon about 25 people were gathered there to place flowers and notes by the tree that the car had crashed into. The mourners took turns kneeling by the tree in silence. Many were tearful and embracing each other.
One note read: “RIP Taylor Girl. Fly high beautiful, heaven gained an amazing angel.”
Abbie Morong, 13, arrived at 3:30 p.m. that day to place cards and cheerleading ribbons from her and her eighth-grade classmates who knew Taylor.
“She’s a great person and she’ll be missed,” Morong said.
Because of the death, high school athletic games between Bucksport High School and Orono High School that were scheduled for Friday afternoon were postponed.
Officials with the Orono school, which had scheduled its homecoming activities around the games, have reached out to Bucksport High School administrators.
“We all spoke on the phone last night and then met this morning to discuss how we might be helpful to Bucksport and how to handle this with our own students,” Orono High School Principal Jim Chasse said in an email Friday morning.
While no Orono students were involved in the crash, the accident is still weighing heavy on students, according to Chasse. Counselors were made available to Orono students, some of whom knew Darveau, he said.
“Our hearts go out to this family,” Chasse said. “I am the father of four daughters and choke up just thinking about such a tragedy.”
A vigil for Darveau was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday. Friends and family were asked to meet behind the House of Pizza in Bucksport and walk along the waterfront, a school official said. Participants were asked to wear pink and purple in Darveau’s honor.
BDN writer Nick McCrea contributed to this report.