A Maine State Police drone comes down for a landing after recording the scene of a deadly vehicle collision on Route 202 in Winthrop on Wednesday. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)

WINTHROP — The son of the athletic director for Regional School Unit 16 in Poland was killed in a crash on Route 202 on Wednesday, police said.

Police said Connor King, 24, died after a truck driven by his father, Donald King, 51, collided with a flatbed wrecker shortly before noon. Donald King was flown to an Augusta hospital and reported to be in serious condition.

Both men are from Mechanic Falls.

Winthrop Police Sgt. John Hall said the elder King “was westbound on Route 202 when the vehicle lost control and skidded into the oncoming lane.”

It struck an eastbound 2011 Dodge flatbed wrecker driven by Alfred Parks, 65, of Readfield.

“Parks was unable to avoid the oncoming vehicle and the two collided,” according to police. “The Dodge pickup truck was rolled onto its side by the force of the collision.”

The elder King, Alfred Parks and Parks’ passenger, Thelma Parks, 70, also of Readfield, were taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta.

Donald King, a former Lewiston High School science teacher, was tapped more than 10 years ago to be athletic director at Poland Regional High School. Cari Medd, principal of the school, sent a memo late Wednesday afternoon informing King’s colleagues that he was in stable condition at the hospital.

Reports were that King was conscious and alert as he was flown to Augusta by LifeFlight.

“Don King is one of the most honorable men I know,” Medd said Wednesday night. “His dedication to his family and to the Poland Regional High School community is unmatched. His son Connor was a wonderful young man, well liked by all of us here at the high school, and had such a promising future. The loss for Don, his wife, Shirley, and Connor’s sister, Carly, is unimaginable for all of us here. Our hearts are broken in Knight Nation.”

A knight is the mascot for the district, which includes Mechanic Falls, Minot and Poland.

In Poland and surrounding towns, King’s colleagues were also monitoring the news about his condition.

“Always upbeat,” said David Griffiths, who had served with King on the Mechanic Falls Recreation Committee, “and always focused on what’s best for the kids, whether they were playing Saturday morning basketball at Elm Street School, where we were both referees, or arranging sports schedules at the high school.”

Griffiths was on the search committee that selected King as athletic director.

“Being an (athletic director) is a tough job,” Griffiths said. “I never, not once, heard him complain about the pressures of his job.”

Connor King graduated from Poland Regional High School and attended Saint Joseph’s College of Maine in Standish, where the played baseball. In 2016, Connor spent a season coaching the Poland Regional High School softball team.

The accident occurred between Route 135 and Winthrop Veterinary Hospital, and shut down U.S. Route 202 for four hours, Hall said.

He said that section of Route 202 has seen a number of serious accidents. In 2014, a Winthrop businessman was killed in a crash similar to the one that claimed the life of King on Wednesday.

Winthrop Police, Fire and Ambulance all responded to the scene as did Monmouth Police, Maine State Police, the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department and Augusta Rescue.

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Betty Adams contributed to this report.

Connor King (Facebook photo)

Poland Regional High School Athletic Director Don King (Submitted photo)

Connor King (Facebook photo)


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: