A father and son from Winthrop with strong ties to the central Maine hockey community were killed Tuesday morning when their car collided head-on with an SUV on U.S. Route 202 in Leeds.

Ghislain B. “Gus” Cloutier, 49, and Casey Cloutier, 14, died at the scene, said Lt. Glenn Holt of the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office.

Ralph D. Ryder, 59, of Livermore, who was alone in the second vehicle, was taken by ambulance to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, where he was in stable condition Tuesday afternoon, Holt said.

David Guthro, spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, said Casey Cloutier was a student at Saint Dominic Academy in Auburn. Guthro said the Cloutiers were on their way to hockey practice in Auburn.

Holt did not know where the Cloutiers were going, but noted that they were headed away from Auburn and driving east toward Winthrop when the crash occurred.

Guthro said a counselor met with the hockey team Tuesday morning. Counselors will be at St. Dominic’s on Wednesday and Monday.


“The prayers of Bishop (Robert) Deeley and the entire Diocese of Portland are with this family,” Guthro said.

Holt said the crash occurred around 8:15 a.m. at the intersection of Route 202 and Leeds Junction Road. Gus Cloutier, driving east in a 2007 Honda Accord, swerved into the westbound lane and collided with Ryder’s 2003 Ford Explorer. The accident remains under investigation, and there was no initial indication of what caused Cloutier’s car to swerve.

A section of Route 202, a major thoroughfare between Lewiston and Augusta, was closed for about 3½ hours as Androscoggin County sheriff deputies and Maine State Police investigated. Cars were re-routed onto Leeds Junction Road in Leeds and Greene.

News of the crash spread quickly via social media around the high school sports community, specifically among hockey players and parents.

St. Dominic’s boys’ and girls’ basketball games scheduled for Tuesday night at Hall-Dale High School were postponed, according to St. Dominic’s online sports schedule.

Hockey players and school organizations took to Twitter to express condolences.


One message said, “Today we lost a brother, thank you to everyone who is supporting us and the family, please keep them in your prayers.”

Dave St. Hilaire, football coach for Winthrop/Monmouth, played in a men’s hockey league with Gus Cloutier and coached Casey in hockey during middle school. Casey also was a classmate of St. Hilaire’s son at Winthrop Middle School, where Casey was an honor student before enrolling at St. Dominic’s for his freshman year so he could play in the Catholic school’s highly regarded hockey program.

Gus Cloutier and his wife, Susan Cloutier, also have a younger son.

“They are a great family,” St. Hilaire said. “Casey is a super kid and his dad is super family-oriented.

“It’s unfortunate,” he said. “It’s a sad day.”

Craig Crosby can be contacted at 621-5642 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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