Police and first responders at the scene of an accident where a 13-year-old was hit by a tractor-trailer after getting off a school bus on Lewiston Road in Gray on Tuesday. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

The 13-year-old middle school student hit by a tractor-trailer after getting off a school bus Tuesday afternoon remains hospitalized as police continue to investigate the accident.

The Gray-New Gloucester Middle School student was rushed to Maine Medical Center with serious injuries after he was hit while crossing Lewiston Road (Route 100) in Gray. He had multiple injuries and had surgery on his leg Wednesday, said MSAD 15 Superintendent Craig King, who spoke with the student’s mother Wednesday morning.

“He’ll have a long road to recovery, but he will recover,” King said.

The crash happened shortly after 2:30 p.m. Tuesday near 135 Lewiston Road, not far from Spring Meadows Golf Course. Emergency personnel arrived to find the boy semiconscious after being hit by a Bard Trucking 18-wheeler driven by 49-year-old Jeffrey Lane of Farmington.

Police and school officials say the bus was stopped at a regular bus stop with its flashing lights and flashing stop arm engaged. Sheriff Kevin Joyce said Wednesday that the bus driver saw the truck approaching from behind and tried to warn the teen by honking the bus horn.

“She wasn’t able to warn him even though she attempted to,” he said. “The bus drivers take this seriously and feel bad when something like this happens.”



The teen hasn’t been identified, but his mother, Heather Phillips, started a GoFundMe fundraiser to help cover medical costs and the family’s expenses in the coming weeks. Phillips couldn’t be reached Wednesday to talk about her son’s injuries but wrote on the fundraising page that her “wonderful, thoughtful, sweet 13-year-old boy” is “pretty beat up.” He had surgery on his left foot and was recovering in his room, she posted Wednesday afternoon. He will have to wear a neck brace for the next six weeks and is expected to be in the hospital for at least two more days, she said.

“He is still in a lot of pain, but looks good overall,” she wrote.

More than $15,000 had been raised through the GoFundMe page as of Wednesday night.

King said the bus was equipped with a camera and the recording has been turned over to police. A 2019 state law authorizes school districts to place external cameras that record the license plates of vehicles that unlawfully pass stopped buses. The law allows a $250 fine for a first offense and a 30-day license suspension for a second offense.

Federal law requires school buses to have a number of safety features, including amber and red flashing lights and an automatic stop signal arm on the left side of the bus to alert drivers that they should stop to allow students to board or leave a stopped bus. Buses also must have safety crossing arms that require students to walk at least 8 to 10 feet in front of the bus to cross a road.


The school bus and truck were both traveling northbound toward New Gloucester in a 45 mph zone. Joyce said he does not know if the truck was trying to pass the bus or did not stop in time. Police have not received complaints about cars passing school buses in that area in the last couple of years, he said.

Police and first responders at the scene of an accident where a 13-year-old was hit by a tractor-trailer after getting off a school bus on Lewiston Road in Gray on Tuesday. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

There have been 411 crashes involving school buses in Maine since the beginning of 2019, according to the Bureau of Highway Safety. The majority of those crashes – 340 – involved property damage. There have been three fatal crashes – one in 2019 and two in 2022. Injuries were reported in 68 crashes.

So far this year, there have been 37 crashes involving school buses, with injuries reported in 10.

A spokesperson for the Maine Department of Education said they didn’t have anyone available Wednesday to talk about the crash and school bus safety statewide. In a statement, the department said it regularly offers resources and training for drivers on helping students safely cross the road while getting on and off their school buses.


The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office will try to use crash reconstruction to determine how fast the truck was driving when it hit the teen and why it did not stop behind the bus. Long streaks of brake marks were seen on the road Tuesday.


On Wednesday afternoon, cars zoomed by on the section of road where the accident occurred, which is curved and slightly hilly. The skid marks from the accident were still clearly visible – dark black lines against the worn, gray asphalt. A “drive like your kids live here,” sign sat against the porch of a home just off the road from where the accident occurred.

The investigation also will help determine if the truck driver will be charged or cited for any violations, Joyce said.

The Maine State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit was evaluating the truck Tuesday night, which is standard in serious crashes involving commercial vehicles, but the sheriff’s office has not received any updates from that inspection, Joyce said.

The school bus was not hit by the truck and the 17 middle and high school students on board were not physically hurt, King said.

After the crash, the remaining students on the bus were taken back to Gray-New Gloucester High School to meet with school counselors and social workers and be reunited with their families. Counseling also was available Wednesday at the middle school, high school and transportation department, and was being used by staff and students, King said.

Principal Richard Riley-Benoit, who visited the student at the hospital Tuesday night, said in a letter to the school community that the teen was “in great pain and had severe injuries, but he could speak to me.” There has already been an outpouring of support from the community, and parents are beginning to organize ways to help the family, he said.


Anyone who wants to send a card to the student as he recovers can drop it off at the middle school office, Riley-Benoit said.

King said the incident is a reminder that everyone needs to be cautious and slow down to make sure the district’s 1,836 students get to and from school safely.

“I think it’s a miracle that this student has come out of this accident surviving,” he said. “I think he and his family are very courageous in working through this ordeal.”

Staff Writer Lana Cohen contributed to this report.

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