Route 231 in New Gloucester was closed for three hours Wednesday morning due to a head-on collision involving a School Administrative District 15 school bus.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office investigated the crash, which took place at 8:50 a.m. near The Penny Store at the Penny and Intervale roads intersection. The bus was headed to Burchard A. Dunn School on Morse Road near Pineland Farms with 10 students aboard. No one on the bus was hurt.

According to Capt. Don Goulet, Robert Doughty Jr., 59, of East Main St., Yarmouth, was operating a 2015 Acura north on Route 231 when he went off the right side of the road. Doughty overcorrected and crossed the road into the path of the bus. The 2010 International bus was operated by Kathleen Allen, 56, of Gray, who was transported to Central Maine Medical Center for observation.

The bus was heavily damaged as was the Acura. Students were checked by EMTs, but no one was injured, SAD 15 Superintendent Bruce Beasley said. The car’s driver, who suffered life-threatening injuries, was flown by a LifeFlight helicopter to Central Maine Medical Center.

Beasley, who arrived shortly after the accident with the principal of Burchard Dunn School and the district’s director of operations, said parents of those on the bus were called following the incident and that all district parents were notified by the district’s email distribution network.

Whitney Holloway, a nearby resident who heard the collision, said, “The impact was so loud. The helicopter was loud, too. The helicopter pilot put it right down on (Route) 231. Amazing. When I came out, I was barefoot running down the street calling 911 and they were asking me how many kids were on the bus, and I said, ‘I don’t know. Send somebody now.’ “

Holloway said she observed the schoolchildren and bus driver after the accident and that the “kids on the bus were all OK. The school bus driver was very shaken up.”

Goulet said a sheriff’s office reconstruction team is reconstructing the crash. The accident investigation remains open and the cause of the crash is not known at this time, he said.

Lakes Region Weekly Inside New Gloucester columnist Patti Mikkelsen contributed to this report.

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