A Dirigo High School graduate was killed Thursday night in a crash off West Side Road in Weld.

WELD — A former Dirigo High School wrestler who was a four-time state champion was mourned Friday and remembered as a fierce competitor and a good friend after being killed in a car crash late Thursday.

Griffyn Smith, shown in 2016, was a four-time Maine state wrestling champion.

Griffyn Smith, 19, of Dixfield died when the 2005 Toyota Corolla in which he was a passenger went off West Side Road in Weld, hit a tree and rolled over about 11:30 p.m., according to Maine State Police.

The driver, Ethyn Buotte, 18, also of Dixfield, and a 17-year-old girl whose name was not immediately available, both Dirigo High School students, were treated at Rumford Community Hospital for injuries that were not considered life-threatening, state police said.

Speed appeared to be a factor in the crash, according to police.

Deputies from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and members of the Weld Fire Department assisted troopers at the crash site and the District Attorney’s Office also was consulted. The crash investigation continues.

Smith graduated in 2016 from Dirigo High School in Dixfield and in May from Central Maine Community College in Auburn.


He won four state wrestling championships while at Dirigo.

The Sun Journal in Lewiston named him all-region wrestler of the year in 2016.

“Smith achieved his perfection across three different weight classes and in two enrollment classifications” during his wrestling career at the school, former Sun Journal sports writer Kalle Oakes wrote in 2016.

“I’m so saddened to hear this news,” Oakes wrote in an email Friday. “Griffyn was a fierce competitor and a soft-spoken, unassuming kid. He was small in stature. To look at him in a crowd you would not have known he was one of the outstanding athletes in the area. He absolutely dominated his weight class in wrestling all four years at Dirigo. The wrestling community at that school is a proud, tight-knit group. I can only imagine how much they are hurting from this news.”

A friend, Randy DeRoche Jr. of Dixfield, wrote in a message: “He was a wonderful friend. We grew up idolizing each other. We would hang out every Christmas as a tradition. We did it for so many years I would not even ask if he was coming over Christmas Day, eventually he would walk into my house. He was my best friend and best friend to a lot of people in this town.”

Smith studied precision machining while in college in Auburn and graduated with an associate degree as a precision machinist, according to a gofundme page set up to help the family with burial and funeral expenses.


He was looking forward to joining the Navy in the fall, according to the post.

“Griffyn … wasn’t a show boater, he just went out and accomplished his goal … win,” Bob McPhee, a longtime Sun Journal sports writer and a friend of Griffyn’s who covered him throughout his career, wrote in an email.

He was always a joy to speak with and extremely gracious, he said.

“Griffyn was a competitor and was determined – on the mat – to achieve his goals,” McPhee said. “Despite being small in stature, he was in control of his endeavors on (the) mat; proving that an individual doesn’t need to be the biggest and strongest to succeed.”

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