HEBRON — Nine people were sent to hospitals Tuesday afternoon after a head-on collision in Hebron between a school bus and a car driven by a teenager from South Paris.

Oxford County Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Wyman said a witness told police that an Audi sedan driven by Brandon Buffington, 19, crossed the center line of Route 119 and hit an Oxford Hills School District bus driven by Stephanie Rowe, 38, of South Paris. The crash occurred around 2:30 p.m.

Buffington was in critical condition Tuesday night at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. He suffered two broken legs, two broken arms and chest injuries, Wyman said.

Seven students and Rowe were taken by ambulance to Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway as a precaution, said Rick Colpitts, superintendent of the Oxford Hills School District.

Colpitts said he did not believe that any of the 18 students who were on the bus at the time were seriously injured, but a number of them were “shaken up.” The uninjured students were taken home on a second school bus.

“We’re grateful everyone (on the bus) is well,” Colpitts said. “It’s a traumatic experience.”

Wyman said Buffington’s grandfather, Willie Buffington, who is Paris’s deputy fire chief, was one of the first emergency responders to arrive at the crash.

“He was pretty shaken up when he saw it was his grandson’s car,” Wyman said.

Brandon Buffington, who had to be extricated from his car, was flown by helicopter to Central Maine Medical Center.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Wyman said investigators want to know why Buffington’s car drifted across the center line. Police did not find a cellphone after the crash.

Speed does not appear to have been a factor.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

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