As police continue to investigate the fatal crash between a car and school bus in Norridgewock Friday evening that claimed the life of a woman and her 3-year-old son, school officials say the bus was returning from a one-act play festival held at Skowhegan High School.

Amanda Carter, 36, and her son Mark Schinzel, both of Meadowbrook Road in New Portland, were pronounced dead at the crash scene after Carter’s car was struck by the school bus at the intersection of U.S. Route 2 and Fredericks Corner Road.

Carter’s 2005 Hyundai Elantra failed to stop at the intersection with Route 2 and drove directly in front of the school bus and was struck broadside, police said. The bus was from School Administrative District 73, based in Livermore Falls.

The school bus, which was carrying 41 students and was driven by Stephen Groomes, was returning to Spruce Mountain High School from the Skowhegan drama festival, according to SAD 73 Superintendent Kenneth Healey. He said no one on the bus was injured and the bus was able to stay running to keep the students warm.

The bus was coming west on U.S. Route 2 when the crash occurred. The road had to be shut down for a period of time afterward as crews cleared the crash scene.

Healey sent a message out to members of the school community on Saturday morning alerting them of the crash. The message stated that “there is no doubt all those involved were pretty shook up after the accident.”


“Principal Plourde and Transportation Director Ken Vining responded to the scene,” Healey’s message read. “They ensured all students and coaching staff were transported safely back to Spruce Mountain High School. Principal Plourde arranged for counselors to be available at the high school this morning to assist anyone who needed to process the emotions and feelings generated from last night tragic accident.”

Chief Deputy James Ross, of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office, said Monday that the crash remains under investigation. He said officers conducted follow up interviews over the weekend.

He said it appears Carter was not wearing her seatbelt at the time of the crash, which was reported around 9:40 p.m. Friday. Her young son, Mark, did appear to have been properly strapped into a child car seat.

Ross said it did not look like Carter was distracted by her cellphone at the time of the accident, but said police had recovered her cellphone and would download its contents to be sure. He said they are also waiting for blood test results, which are mandatory in a crash this scale, and those results could take two to three weeks to get back.

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.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

Twitter: @colinoellis

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