A Saco teenager died early Monday after an SUV she was driving crashed into a stand of trees along Ricker Road in Saco.

Mariah Bailey, 15, of Flag Pond Road in Saco, was found dead behind the wheel of the SUV, Saco Police Deputy Chief Corey Huntress said in a statement Monday.

Rene Menard, the headmaster of Thornton Academy in Saco, said that Bailey is not enrolled at Thornton Academy, a privately run day and boarding school for grades 9-12 that also takes public students from Saco, Arundel and Dayton.

Jeremy Ray, who serves as superintendent of Biddeford schools as well as Saco’s three elementary schools and its middle school, also said that Bailey was not a student in his district.

Huntress said the crash occurred around 3:16 a.m. Huntress said Saco officers responded to the scene of the crash after a resident called and reported hearing a loud bang.

The initial investigation showed that the SUV, a gray 2021 Toyota Highlander, left Ricker Road as it traveled south near a crest and a turn in the road, Huntress said. Officers said that Bailey, who was alone in the vehicle, died at the scene.


The crash remains under investigation and is being reconstructed by members of the Saco Police Department’s crash reconstruction team.

Huntress did not say who owns the SUV. A person has to be at least 16 years old in Maine to possess a driver’s license.

Photographs of a makeshift memorial being erected at the crash site on Ricker Road were posted on Facebook.

“The kids are working on a memorial for Mariah Bailey at the crash site,” wrote Ashli Fraser. “Coming together to mourn. So sad, but stay strong kids.”

According to the Saco Police Department, the Saco teenager had a history of running away from home. She was reported missing, but was later found, in November 2020. At the time she was 13 years old.

In April 2021, Saco police issued a statement asking for the public’s assistance in locating Bailey, who was 14-years-old at the time, and had last been seen at the Hannaford plaza in Saco. She was found a short while after her disappearance.

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