WATERFORD – Sixteen-year-old Jesse Wildes, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver early Sunday on Mill Hill Road, was described as “a fun-loving kid” with a good sense of humor, said Roger Lowell, principal at Lake Region High School.

The son of Tim and Jackie Wildes of Pinhook Road, Bridgton, died of multiple trauma, an autopsy revealed Monday.

Wildes would have been a junior when classes begin Sept. 2 at the school.

Lowell said the school on Route 302 is open this week, and there will be counselors available if students want to talk about the tragedy.

“We’ve had several student losses” in recent years due to motor vehicle accidents, which is “about the worst thing that could happen in a school,” said Lowell. “It puts everything else into perspective.”

Maine State Police, meanwhile, were still searching Tuesday for the hit-and-run driver, who would have front, driver’s-side damage to his or her vehicle, according to Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland.

Anyone with information is urged to call Maine State Police at 1-800-482-0730, said State Police Sgt. Donald Shead.

Six police officers have been assigned to the case full-time, Shead said, including Trooper Andre Paradis, who is heading up the investigation.

Wildes was walking in the road and may have been hitchhiking when the vehicle, headed toward Norway, crested a hill and struck him on the way down the hill, near Kimball Road, McCausland said.

Wildes had spent Saturday evening with friends at Keoka Beach Campground on Mill Hill Road in South Waterford and was last seen there at 11 p.m., McCausland said.

The campground is less than a mile from where Wildes’ body was found.

As he walked toward Norway on Mill Hill Road, a Mill Hill Road resident stopped to offer him a ride to his home so he could make a phone call. However, once at the person’s home, Wildes “had a change of heart” and chose not to make a phone call, but to keep on walking, McCausland said.

The accident occurred sometime between 1 and 2 a.m., when a passing motorist discovered his body halfway in the road, McCausland said.

Sgt. Shead said the autopsy done at the State Medical Examiner’s Office showed Wildes died of multiple trauma with significant head injury.

Lowell said Wildes was a member of the sophomore team, an interdisciplinary program of 50 students and teachers involved in community service and other projects, including camping trips.

“The teachers said he really had a caring side to him, and he was concerned about other people,” Lowell said. “He seemed to be pretty happy most of the time, and he had a good sense of humor.”

Lowell said Wildes had enrolled in the vocational program for the fall, and was hoping to gain a slot in the automotive program.

Wildes’ parents were still finalizing funeral arrangements on Monday and have not set a date for the service, which will be conducted by Raymond-Wentworth Funeral Home in Bridgton.



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