A 16-year-old girl who was seriously injured when the car she was driving collided with a dump truck Thursday morning in Pittston has died.
Tabytha “Taby” Hembree, 16, was driving her brother, Alex, 12, to school on their first day back from summer vacation in Gardiner when the accident occurred at the intersection of Route 27 and Old Cedar Grove Road.
Both were taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta with serious injuries. Alex is expected to make a full recovery.
MSAD 11 Superintendent Patricia Hopkins said Friday afternoon that her administration was notified by Tabytha’s family early Friday morning that she had died overnight.
Counselors were brought in Friday and time was set aside to notify students of Tabytha’s passing, Hopkins said. During a tragedy like this, she said, the staff and administration come together to make sure teachers and students, alike, are supported emotionally. Time was set aside for students to grieve on Friday, before the school day resumed.
A candlelight vigil is scheduled for 7 p.m. on the high school’s soccer field. The high school will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday for any student who needs support.
Hembree was a junior at Gardiner Area High School and goalie of the soccer team, Hopkins said.
She was a member of the drama club, the swim team and active in the school’s music program, Hopkins said.
“Tabytha was just a really good person who was beloved by everyone,” Hopkins said, “and she will greatly be missed.”
Hembree was also a member of CrossFit Undaunted in Augusta.
“Such a sweet and wonderful young lady Taby was,” the group posted to its Facebook page on Friday.
“Her spirit will live on in all who were touched by her warm smile and supportive attitude. We are devastated by this loss … thoughts and prayers to her family and the entire Gardiner community as we come to terms with the loss of such an angel.”
A GoFundMe page set up to help financially support Hembree’s family had collected nearly $10,000 in donations by Friday afternoon.