A Scarborough teenager who was seriously injured in a car crash that killed his best friend last month was shaken up in a head-on collision Monday on Route 1.

Kevin Grondin, 19, was driving a 1996 Chevrolet pickup truck that crossed the centerline of the road around 9 a.m. and collided with a tanker truck, police said. The driver of the tanker, Ryan Dube, 20, of Sidney, suffered a minor back injury.

Grondin was taken to a Portland hospital and released within a few hours to go home with his family.

In just the past few weeks, Grondin had emerged from a coma caused by the crash that killed 18-year-old Steven Delano on May 8. The two teenagers and their dates were going to the Gorham High School prom when their car collided with a tanker truck on Payne Road. Delano, the driver of the Pontiac G6, was the only person who was killed.

Grondin graduated from Scarborough High School in January and was preparing to enlist in the military. Because of the injuries he suffered in the crash in May, he was under the supervision of his family and was not supposed to be driving.

“They took their eyes off him for a few minutes, and he went out in the truck,” said Patricia Conant, the high school principal. “His parents are obviously thrilled that he is OK, but horrified that it happened.”

Attempts to reach Grondin’s parents were unsuccessful Monday.

Scarborough Police Officer Andrew Flynn said he had not spoken with Grondin as of Monday afternoon, and police were not sure what caused Grondin to cross the centerline and hit the oncoming tanker truck in a 50 mph zone. He said speed apparently was not a factor, and there were no indications that alcohol or drugs played any role.

“I know he had some medical problems related to the prom night crash,” Flynn said. “We’re not exactly sure if those contributed to this accident or not.”

Flynn said he was surprised that Grondin was not badly hurt, given the major damage to the front of the pickup truck. Grondin was wearing his seat belt when he crashed, the officer said.

“He is very lucky. This was a very serious accident,” Flynn said.

Conant said she learned about the crash Monday morning during marching practice for members of the senior class, who will graduate Sunday night at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

After informing the students, Conant went to the hospital and met with Grondin’s family.

“Thank God for the seat belt and the airbag,” Conant said. She sent out an e-mail and made an announcement over the school intercom system later Monday, letting students and teachers know that Grondin was all right.

Conant visited Grondin on May 27, the day he was transferred from Maine Medical Center to the New England Rehab Hospital in Portland. He was able to speak and make a few jokes with the principal, but he was clearly still impaired by his injuries, she said.

Conant said she was not sure if he was aware at that point that his best friend, Delano, had been killed. Conant said she also was not sure when Grondin was discharged from the rehab hospital.

The school expected Grondin to participate in graduation Sunday, Conant said. He was also expected to take part in a baccalaureate service Wednesday night at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, arranged by the Scarborough Ecumenical Council.

Conant said she was not sure whether Monday’s crash would affect those plans.

 

Staff Writer Trevor Maxwell can be contacted at 791-6451 or at: [email protected]