PORTLAND – The school community is mourning the death of a Portland High School student athlete in a crash Thursday night in Falmouth.

Garrett Cormier, 16, was driving home from his girlfriend’s house in Windham about 11:10 p.m. when he lost control of the sport utility vehicle on Blackstrap Road, said Falmouth police Sgt. George Savidge.

“He had called his mother and told her he was on his way home,” said Portland High Principal Mike Johnson. Cormier had just completed his sophomore year.

The SUV left the pavement near 134 Blackstrap Road, hit a tree and rolled over, Savidge said. Cormier was wearing a seat belt, he said.

Police said speed and the driver’s inexperience contributed to the crash. Cormier, who was driving alone when he crashed, got his license about six months ago.

Cormier was pronounced dead at the scene. His mother, who was out looking for him because he hadn’t arrived home, came upon the scene shortly after police arrived, Savidge said.

Cormier was well known in Portland schools because, in part, he was a son of Lauren Cormier, a social studies teacher at Lyman Moore Middle School, and Joseph Cormier, a former custodian at Portland High.

“This is every parent’s nightmare and every school’s nightmare,” said Johnson, who met briefly with the family Friday to express condolences and offer any support they need.

Johnson said counselors were available at the high school Friday in case staff members or students needed support. Today, the high school will be open from 9 to 11 a.m. and Lyman Moore Middle School will be open from noon to 3 p.m. for any students who need to talk.

Johnson and other school staff members described Cormier as a gregarious and considerate teen who was a good student and athlete. He was a member of the school’s football, wrestling and lacrosse teams and planned to go to college, Johnson said.

“I’ve known him since he was a baby,” said Liz Bryant, one of several school secretaries who said they were fond of Cormier. “He was the type of kid who would call his friends and say, ‘I’m taking my sister out to dinner and a movie. Want to come with us?’“

Cormier leaves an older brother, Patrick, who will be a senior at Portland High in the fall, and a younger sister, Taylor.

Portland High lacrosse players, including Patrick Cormier, will call for a moment of silence and wear 1-inch leg bands in Garrett Cormier’s memory when they face Scarborough High in the Class A state championship game at 5:30 p.m. today at Fitzpatrick Stadium, said Athletic Director Rich Drummond.

Scarborough players are also expected to wear the leg bands.


Staff Writers David Hench and Jenn Menendez contributed to this report.


Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

[email protected]