January 7

Kingfield preschool teacher killed in crash

Samantha Wright, 38, died at the scene of the accident after her northbound minivan was hit by a southbound van that crossed the center line, police say.

By Matt Hongoltz-Hetling mhhetling@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

NEW VINEYARD — A 38-year-old preschool teacher from Kingfield was killed in a head-on collision on Route 27 Monday afternoon, according to police.

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FATAL CRASH: Samantha Wright, 38, of Kingfield, was killed Monday after her Dodge minivan was hit by a van traveling toward her, according to police.

Contributed photo

Samantha Wright died at the scene of the accident after her northbound 1999 Dodge minivan was hit by a southbound van that crossed the center line, according to Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols.

Wright was the executive director and head teacher at Maine Mountain Children’s House, a nonprofit Montessori preschool program based in Kingfield.

The driver of the southbound van, Craig Gage, 23, of Saco, was taken to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington with non life-threatening injuries, Nichols said.

Nichols said that there were no passengers in either van. At least one other vehicle went off the road to avoid the accident, but no one else was injured, he said.

Drivers following Gage’s van said it drifted onto the ice-covered right shoulder of the road and then overcorrected, crossing the center line and moving into the path of Wright’s minivan, Nichols said.

Gage was driving a 2006 Ford E250 van owned by National Distributors Inc. of South Portland, Nichols said.

A former resident of South Carolina, Gage has been working as a truck driver for National Distributors since August of 2012, according to his Facebook page.

The 2 p.m. accident, which happened south of the intersection with Holly Road, closed the state route for more than two hours and the case remains under investigation.

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