The woman whose car slammed into the rear of an empty school bus Monday afternoon in South China is in critical condition, police said.

Melissa Guilfoyle, of Windsor, was airlifted from the scene of the accident on Route 3.

Her car was so badly damaged that initially rescuers couldn’t even see whether anyone was inside.

“Melissa’s condition is still critical, but she’s doing better than she was,” Sgt. David Bucknam of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday evening.

A spokeswoman from Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston said Tuesday evening that she couldn’t confirm any information about Guilfoyle.

Vassalboro School District bus driver David Jacques parked his bus on the shoulder of the road while he got himself a soda from a dollar store. Jacques and store staff heard, but did not see, the impact as a Suzuki driven by Guilfoyle crashed into the rear of the bus. The Suzuki was badly damaged as it slid beneath the bus with some pieces of it being sheared off entirely before it came to a rest.

Emergency responders flagged down a passing crane and asked the operator to lift up the rear end of the bus, so that Guilfoyle’s Suzuki could be extricated.

Guilfoyle, a registered nurse at VA Maine Healthcare Systems-Togus, was treated in an ambulance at the scene and then taken to the hospital in a Lifeflight helicopter.

No charges have been filed in the incident, which is under continued investigation by the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287 | mhhetling@centralmaine.com | Twitter: @hh_matt