All College of the Atlantic students involved in a two-vehicle crash in Thorndike on Sunday and who were taken to hospitals have been released, according to school officials.

Connor O’Brien, a student, was driving a 2014 GMC Savana van owned by the college when it appears he failed to yield the right-of-way to another van before turning onto Crosby Brook Road off of Route 220 in Thorndike, Maine State Police said. There were nine students in the van.

The crash, just outside the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s Common Ground fairgrounds, destroyed the two vehicles and injured eight of the 10 people involved.

All of the students are now back at the Bar Harbor college or at home with their families, Rob Levin, director of communications for the College of the Atlantic, said Monday morning.

The College of the Atlantic has a fleet of seven vans used to transport students as part of the “educational experience,” Levin said. Any member of the college’s community can drive one of the vans as long as they have a license and a clean record over the past three years.

This was the first vehicle crash the college has had with one of its vans, according to Levin, and the college is liable for the damage.

While the college will look into whether to change its current policy, it is an ongoing process and no decisions have been made at this time, Levin said. The college has also not yet planned disciplinary action against the driver, and Levin said they are still reviewing information.

At the time of the crash, the group was driving to Unity for Great Maine Apple Day, according to a history professor from the college who arrived at the scene shortly after the crash.

“Our thoughts and good wishes go out to everyone involved,” Levin said Monday. He said the college is grateful there were no life-threatening injuries, grateful to the first responders and is “actively providing support” to those who were involved in the crash.

Julia Clemens, a student in the GMC Savana van, suffered a head injury and was taken by Lifeflight helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. Clemens, 25, was in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries as early as Sunday afternoon.

Other students with non-life threatening injuries were taken to Inland Hospital in Waterville, while two students refused treatment.

In addition to O’Brien, other students in the van were identified by state police as Leigh Rinkan, 18; Abigail Jackson, 20; Amber Wolfe, 20; Paige Hill, 23; Alijah Santenr, 19; Gillian Welch, 20; and Teegan Rose, 19. All are believed to be from out of state, according to state police spokesman Steve McCausland.

Benjamin Stowe, 64, of Pennsylvania, was driving south on Route 220 in a 1996 white Ford conversion van when the crash happened, police said. Stowe was alone in his van at the time and suffered a broken knee and fractured wrist, according to State Trooper Bethany Robinson.

He was taken to Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast. His injuries were non-life threatening.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour


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