The husband of a Kingfield teacher who died in a head-on collision this winter is suing the driver of the van that struck his wife’s minivan.

Samantha Wright, 38, of Kingfield, was killed Jan. 6 when her van was struck by a van driven by Craig Gage, 23, of Saco.

Andrew Hodgins, Wright’s husband, filed a lawsuit against Gage, claiming he acted negligently, which resulted in the crash.

Court documents filed by Hodgins attorney’s allege that Gage was driving too fast for the poor winter conditions, was not following traffic rules, didn’t “heed the presence” of Wright’s van and “failed generally to adhere to appropriate standards of care.”

The lawsuit does not cite a specific amount of money it’s seeking, but it states Hodgins is seeking compensation for emotional distress, the loss of Wright’s companionship to him and 1-year old daughter Penelope, and money for expenses such as funeral costs, child care cost increases and the loss of Wright’s future earnings.

National Distributors, the South Portland company that owned the van Gage was driving, also has been named in the lawsuit. The driver and the company have until Monday to give an initial response to the lawsuit.


Police said the afternoon accident happened after Gage drifted onto the ice-covered right side of the road and then overcompensated to the left into the northbound lane, striking Wright’s 1999 Dodge minivan.

Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols said at the time that Wright had nowhere to go because of a guardrail blocking her van. He said that section of Route 27 north of the accident scene is straight, flat and dry, but the road curves into an area that is shaded by trees and can be icy.

Neither Wright nor Gage had passengers in their vans. Gage was treated and released within a couple hours of the accident with minor injuries.

Wright was executive director and head teacher at Maine Mountain Children’s House, a nonprofit Montessori preschool program based in Kingfield. Friends of the teacher started a movement to spread random acts of kindness, or “Samshine,” to honor Wright, who was known for acts of kindness in the community.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

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