Seen here leading fellow South Portland firefighters in a physical fitness program in 2005, Lt. Harry Weymouth “showed up when you needed him and was able to do everything that was asked of him,” said Nathan Schools, the fire chief in Buxton, where Weymouth was a volunteer firefighter. His death “really leaves a void for the town,” Schools said.

SOUTH PORTLAND — A longtime South Portland and Buxton firefighter and paramedic who was killed in a crash early Thursday in Hollis was remembered by colleagues as a quiet mentor, community leader and jack-of-all-trades.

South Portland Fire Lt. Harry Weymouth, 46, who lived in Buxton, was heading east on Route 202 near Hollis Center just before 1 a.m. when the Chevrolet Cobalt he was driving crossed the center line and struck an oncoming car, Maine State Police said.

South Portland Fire Chief James Wilson talks Thursday about the death of Lt. Harry Weymouth, a longtime firefighter with the department who was killed in an early-morning crash in Hollis. “I know I will miss him,” Wilson said.

Weymouth was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where he died of his injuries around 4 a.m.

Neither speed nor alcohol was considered a factor in the crash, police said, and it appeared that Weymouth might have fallen asleep while driving. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

The driver of the other car, Zahra Guedi, 45, of Portland, and Osman Duale Ali, who was a passenger in the Ford Fusion, also were taken to Maine Medical Center with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening, police said. A nursing supervisor at the hospital said both were in fair condition Thursday night.

Police said Weymouth was on his way home, but not directly from his job in South Portland, where he was a supervisor at the Cash Corner Fire Station and a crew leader assigned to ladder truck No. 45.

South Portland Fire Chief James Wilson, speaking during a late-morning news conference at the Central Fire Station, remembered Weymouth as a dedicated and versatile co-worker who led by example.

“Harry was hired three months after me,” Wilson said. “He and I worked together for many years on the ambulance. He was a mentor to a number of our employees. I know I will miss him. He will be very missed by all of us here at the South Portland Fire Department.”

Weymouth had been a full-time firefighter in South Portland for 21 years and a volunteer firefighter in Buxton for 30 years, starting in 1986, when he was 15 years old. He also was a registered nurse who worked at the Southern Maine Health Care campus in Sanford and a longtime medic with the Southern Maine Regional SWAT team.

Wilson and Buxton Fire Chief Nathan Schools described Weymouth as an unassuming yet accomplished jack-of-all-trades who enjoyed farming and working with his hands, as well as caring for and rescuing community members in distress.

“He was the quiet leader who sat in the back, who volunteered for his town,” Schools said. “(He) showed up when you needed him and was able to do everything that was asked of him. It really leaves a void for the town, the family and the fire service.”

Weymouth leaves behind his wife, Kelly, and three children. Funeral arrangements had not been announced.

“As a family – the fire service is a family – we’ll be doing everything we can to help Kelly out at this tragic time,” Wilson said.

Trained peer counselors met with South Portland firefighters Thursday to help them cope with the loss of their co-worker, Wilson said. They’ll be back Sunday, when Weymouth’s crew at Cash Corner is scheduled to return to work.

“That will be a challenging day,” Wilson said. “We’re in the process today of planning for that, how we’re going to help his crew get through that day. The grieving process (is) different for everybody and it’s tough because it is a family.”

Asked whether a lack of sleep caused by Weymouth’s busy work schedule might have contributed to the accident, Wilson noted that the cause of the crash had yet to be determined. “We’ve never seen anything (to indicate) that,” he said.

Weymouth’s last day at his job in South Portland was Tuesday, when he worked a 24-hour shift. Whether he had been working at another job just before the accident was unknown, police said Thursday afternoon.

Weymouth’s colleagues in the Buxton and Hollis fire departments assisted troopers at the crash site. Weymouth had served as a Buxton fire chief before the town formed a municipal department with a full-time staff.

“As you might imagine, that’s very difficult,” Schools said. “The (Buxton) paramedic on duty today – Harry taught her her craft. Harry was a teacher. It’s tough for us … losing a 30-year member of our department. Our crews are hurting, too.”

Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: KelleyBouchard

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