WINDHAM – In the aftermath of a violent two-car collision that caused injuries to three Windham High School students and a parent Tuesday morning, the school community has responded by raising money for the family of one of the injured students, Patrick Thorne, who remains in critical condition at Maine Medical Center.

According to Regional School Unit 14 Superintendent Sandy Prince, high school faculty met Wednesday and created a bottle fund at Patman’s Redemption in North Windham, which is owned by Craig and Beth Thorne, parents of Patrick Thorne.

The other fund has been created by students in the Business Simulation class, taught by Diane Leavitt. Students are selling T-shirts and wristbands to raise money for the Thorne family.

As of Wednesday afternoon, no charges have yet been filed in the head-on collision that occurred at the intersection of Pope and Swett roads just before the last full day for seniors started. Of the four people who were transported to Maine Medical Center with injuries, Thorne is the only one who remains hospitalized.

According to the Windham Police Department, the accident happened Tuesday at 7:13 a.m. and was originally reported as a two-car accident with one vehicle on fire. The fire had extinguished itself prior to first responders arriving on scene.

The collision involved a 2002 Subaru Impreza operated by Thorne, 18, of Standish. Thorne was traveling northbound on Pope Road when he failed to negotiate the sharp corner at the intersection of Pope and Swett roads, according to police. His vehicle was carrying two 18-year-old passengers, Andrew Frank and Sheldon Lewis. All three are seniors at Windham High School, Prince said.

After failing to negotiate the corner, police said, Thorne slammed into a 2004 Ford Expedition that was traveling southbound on Pope Road. That vehicle was operated by Cynthia E. Sundquist 54, of Windham, who was taking her son, Nick Sundquist, a sophomore, to Windham High School.

According to Windham police, Thorne was trapped and had to be extricated by the Windham Fire Department using the Jaws of Life. He was transported by helicopter to Maine Medical Center. His two passengers were transported to Maine Medical Center by Gorham and Windham ambulances.

While Nick Sundquist was not hurt, Cynthia E. Sundquist was transported Maine Medical Center by Windham rescue for injuries. She was released on Wednesday.

The accident is being investigated by Officer Rob Hunt and reconstructed by Officer Gene Gallant and Jason Burke.

A neighbor of the area, Gayle Clarke, said the intersection of Pope and Swett roads is a dangerous one.

“It’s obvious from the road marks that they lost control on the corner,” Clarke said. “Having lived here for 22 years, we’re well-acquainted with high speed on that corner and the bad outcomes. It’s amazing that the occupants of the SUV that was hit head-on were not more seriously injured.”

When reports of the accident filtered through the school Tuesday morning, Prince said, “we were painfully heartbroken when we heard this news.”

Prince added, “The safety of our kids is always at the forefront of our work and we will do whatever we can do with helping in their recovery as well as getting them through graduation.”

With many seniors driving to school, Prince said, the school is “constantly” reminding students and parents to be careful driving on campus and on surrounding roads.


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