The driver who crashed a passenger van Friday morning carrying 11 children from the Kittery Community Center’s summer camp to a water park in New Hampshire was released from the hospital later the same day, according to a Kittery official.

John E. Guy, 21, had a medical emergency, according to the New Hampshire State Police, and drove the van off Interstate 95 and into a large tree near Greenland, New Hampshire. The front of the 2010 GMC Savana transport van was crushed.

Guy, a counselor, was driving the children and another unidentified counselor, 18, to Candia Springs Adventure Park. The crash happened around 9:20 a.m., about 26 miles from the water park in Candia. A bus from the camp that was traveling ahead of the van Guy was driving reached the water park.

New Hampshire State Police have not said what Guy’s medical emergency was, and the accident remains under investigation. Police said it does not appear speed was a factor. The children range in age from 7 to 9, according to Kittery Town Manager Kendra Amaral. Police said one was transported from Exeter Hospital to Boston Children’s Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

WMUR-TV in Manchester, New Hampshire, reported Saturday that the child was to be released, but New Hampshire State Police did not confirm that. Amaral could not confirm the release, either, saying that she had not had any official notification of it.

At the Community Center, she said, “everyone is deeply saddened and concerned for those involved and trying to do their best to work through this.”


The others in the van were taken to hospitals in Exeter or Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and later released.

With the one exception, the children’s injuries were not serious and all were home with their parents by the end of the day Friday.

Although Guy is only 21, Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap said that driving a passenger van such as the GMC Savana does not require a special license or training. Someone of Guy’s age “has probably had their license at least two years,” Dunlap said. “Driving a van full of kids is certainly not out of the realm of the legal or the possible.”

Maine law restricts new drivers under 18 from driving children, unless they are family members, for the first nine months after receiving a license. Asked about the safety aspects of having a relatively youthful driver drive a 15-passenger van filled with small children, Dunlap said the GMC Savana is “really a family vehicle for all intents and purposes.”

The Kittery summer camp, which runs for a nine-week session, is part of Kittery’s SAFE – Safe Alternatives for Enrichment – program. For a full summer, the camp costs $1,350; the weekly rate is $175. That includes regular outings involving transportation. Upcoming trips include Kingston State Park in New Hampshire and Funtown in Saco.

Amaral said in an email that the community center is “currently still planning to conduct the trips scheduled for the coming weeks. We will be utilizing our contractors to provide transportation for those trips.”

The New Hampshire State Police asks anyone with further information or who witnessed the accident to contact Trooper Andrew Wilensky by phone at 603-223-8715 or by email at [email protected]


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