Durham teen killed in crash

DURHAM — An 18-year-old college student from Durham is believed to have been killed Friday in a fiery crash.

A combination of speed and driver distraction likely caused Maxwell Allen to swerve on Quaker Meeting House Road, about a half-mile south of Route 136, State Police Trooper Tyler Stevenson said. Allen's 1999 Dodge Stratus veered into the oncoming lane and swerved back to the right, where it crossed the road and struck a power pole.

The force split that pole and two others.

By the time police reached the scene, shortly after the 8:20 p.m. emergency call, the car was engulfed in flames.  The extraordinary damage to the vehicle left several questions a day later, including the certain identity of the victim, Stevenson said.

"The investigation is leading us to believe (it was) Allen (who) was killed,"  Stevenson said. There were no passengers.

News of the tragedy moved quickly among Allen's friends, including many teens who belonged to the youth ministry at the Pathway Vineyard Church in Lewiston.

Less than two hours after the crash, youth leader Kyle Gabri was notified.

"It was shocking," Gabri said. About the same time he was told, leaders from the church reached out to Maxwell's parents, John and Jill, and his older brother, John Jr.

"As a congregation, we stand 100 percent behind each other," Gabri said.

By Saturday afternoon, at least 30 teens had gathered at the Foss Road church for a prayer session.

"We wanted to give the teens a chance to mourn and talk," Gabri said. Reactions ran from hysterical to stoic as the youths dealt with the death of someone they knew.

Maxwell was known as a person who had a dry sense of humor that he shared freely. He even performed a stand-up routine at religious retreats.

"He was very, very funny," Gabri said. "He was really loving and really honest."

During the week, he studied media at Southern Maine Community College. On nights and weekends, he was taking on more work for the youth ministry. He often ran sound equipment during youth meetings and had designed a flier for an upcoming Christmas show.

"We were giving him more leadership opportunities," Gabri said. His hope was to become a leader within the group.

Gabri and the teenagers found solace in their faith, he said.

"We believe that when you die you go to a better place," he said. "He's with the Lord at this point."

dhartill@sunjournal.com

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Comments

 's picture

Max was an incredible young

Max was an incredible young person! I had not seen him in many years but his mom kept me updated on he and John's lives when I would see her. No matter what happened or what we believe comes after life we need to remember that this young person lost his life in a horrible crash. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.

Allisa Milliard's picture

Just because you have a

Just because you have a problem with religion, doesn't mean everyone else does too! That is THEIR BELIEF just like YOU HAVE YOUR OWN BELIEFS! If you have a problem with religious beliefs consoling mourners, then you live in the wrong country! And I pray, yes pray, that you will never be put into those parents shoes since you will obviously have little to console you! And if you have a problem with the LSJ printing a quote or writing about this person's life in their church or about how their church fellows are reaching out to them or anything positive about christians, TOUGH!

Allisa Milliard's picture

I'd like to appologize for

I'd like to appologize for losing my head, taking a cheap shot, and going on a rant. I recognize that I just did what I kept telling others not to do. I am sorry.

However, the death of a loved one, especially a sudden death a young person, is a very emotional one. It is a bad time to start a religious debate over what happens after death. In this country, we have the right to find solace how we want. And, just as you are entitled to your beliefs, others are too. I would have stood up if the comment had been regarding Hindu reincarnation, or dancing around a fire at midnight, or any other religious belief regarding the afterlife.

Allisa Milliard's picture

The afterlife is a huge part

The afterlife is a huge part of religion so stop pretending it isn't. Again, just because you don't like it when people say someone is in a better place because your logic tells you otherwise, does not mean that that person can't believe in it and find solice in it without someone going all "logical" on them.

Simon Diaz's picture

"A combination of speed and

"A combination of speed and driver distraction" This is not always texting, he could've seen a deer on the road and swerved to avoid it. No one will know for sure since there were no witnesses...

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