A New Portland woman and her 3-year-old son were killed Friday night when a school bus struck the car the woman was driving in Norridgewock, police said.
Amanda Carter, 36, and her son Mark Schinzel, 3, both of Meadowbrook Road in New Portland, were pronounced dead at the crash scene, Chief Deputy James Ross, of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office, said in a news release Saturday.
The crash at the intersection of U.S. Route 2 and Fredericks Corner Road was reported at 9:40 p.m. Somerset sheriff’s deputies responded and found a wrecked 2005 Hyundai Elantra had collided with a 2017 school bus belonging to School Administrative District 73, based in Livermore Falls.
The bus had been driving west on U.S. 2, carrying a load of students back from a school function, police said. Carter, driving the Elantra, was driving south on Fredericks Corner Road and failed to stop at the intersection with U.S. 2. The car drove directly in front of the school bus and was struck broadside, police said.
No passengers on the bus reported any injuries and U.S. 2 was shut down for a period of time so that the crash could be investigated. Maine State Police Trooper Michael Pion reconstructed the accident, and the incident is being investigated by Somerset deputies Cpl. Ritchie Putnam, Toby Blodgett and Steven Armiger.
New Portland Town Manager Stacie Rundlett said she knew Carter from interacting with her at the Town Office, but said she didn’t know much about her, other than that she had a sister in the area. Rundlett said she was not sure whether Carter had other children. Rundlett said she has been town manager for nearly nine years, and Carter had lived in the town during that whole time.
“From what I saw of her here, she was a nice young woman, a hard worker,” she said. “It’s unfortunate.”
Members of the Maine State Police, the Norridgewock Fire Department, the Smithfield Fire Department and Redington-Fairview General Hospital Emergency Medical Services all assisted the sheriff’s deputies at the accident scene. The LifeFlight helicopter service was contacted initially when the crash was reported to involve life-threatening injuries, but the request for aid was canceled when responders determined Carter and her son had died at the scene.
On Saturday afternoon, Ross said authorities still had a lot of questions unanswered after the crash. He said he was unsure whether Carter and her son were buckled up properly in their seats, and was unsure about possible factors that might have contributed to the accident. He said it’s possible police might never know the cause of the accident.
“All we know is she didn’t stop at the stop sign,” Ross said.
He said that intersection is not known for accidents, and the speed limit there is 55 mph on U.S. 2. He said he did not know the name of the bus driver or where the bus was coming from at the time. He said police will do a vehicle check to see if they can find any signs of causation that way.
“We’ll look where she was coming from, try to get answers, but we may never,” he said.