Windham police on Wednesday were still trying to find out what caused a car crash Tuesday night that killed a 15-year-old Westbrook girl and sent four other people to the hospital.

Tyonna Adams, who attended Westbrook High School, died at the scene of the crash on River Road near Laskey Road, police said.

Adams was a passenger in a Pontiac Grand Am driven by Melinda Easter, 18, of Raymond, Windham police said in a release posted on the department’s Facebook page. The car went off the road and struck a tree about 8:30 p.m., said Windham police Capt. William Andrew.

Speed is believed to be a factor in the crash, according to Windham police. The posted speed limit on that stretch of River Road is 40 mph, Andrew said. He declined to discuss how fast Easter was traveling. Police are still investigating whether wind and rain were also factors.

Easter was taken to Maine Medical Center along with passengers Sasha Williams, 22, of Westbrook, Kerrianna Girardin, 18, of Windham; and Brittany Freeman, 15, of Westbrook. A spokesman for Maine Med said Wednesday night that Easter was no longer a patient and that the other passengers were in fair condition.

Some of the people in the car were wearing seat belts and some were not, Andrew said. Adams was found inside the vehicle at the scene, he said, but he did not know whether she was wearing her seat belt.

Toxicology tests will be performed on Easter, as is standard for any driver involved in a crash that results in a fatality.

Westbrook Superintendent of Schools Peter Lancia confirmed in an email Wednesday that Adams was a student at Westbrook High School.

News of Adams’ death reverberated through her school community Wednesday morning, said Lancia. The district sent an electronic alert to parents early Wednesday to notify them, and counselors were available for students and staff throughout the day, he said.

“Losing a student is probably the worst thing that a school can experience,” Lancia said. “People in our school treat each other like family. There’s a lot of emotion happening right now.”

The death is the second for a Westbrook High student this school year. Joshua Rowe, 17, took his own life Oct. 24.

Four people have been killed on River Road in car- or pedestrian-related crashes since 2010, state crash data show.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at:

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