WELD — A former state wrestling champion from Dirigo High School was mourned Friday and remembered as a fierce competitor and a good friend.

Griffyn Smith, 19, of Dixfield died when the 2005 Toyota Corolla he was a passenger in went off West Side Road in Weld, hit a tree and rolled over about 11:30 p.m. Thursday, according to a state police new release.

Driver Ethyn Buotte, 18, of Dixfield and a 17-year-old girl whose name was not immediately available, both Dirigo High School students, were treated at Rumford Community Hospital for non-life threatening injuries, the release stated.

Speed appeared to be a factor in the accident, according to state police.

Franklin County sheriff’s deputies and the Weld Fire Department assisted troopers at the crash site and the District Attorney’s Office also was consulted. The crash investigation continues.

Smith graduated in 2016 from Dirigo High School in Dixfield and, in May, from Central Maine Community College in Auburn. He won four state wrestling championships while at Dirigo.


The Sun Journal named him all-region wrestler of the year in 2016.

“Smith achieved his perfection across three different weight classes and in two enrollment classifications” during his wrestling career at the school, former Sun Journal sports writer Kalle Oakes wrote on April 10, 2016.

“I’m so saddened to hear this news,” Oakes wrote in an email Friday. “Griffyn was a fierce competitor and a soft-spoken, unassuming kid. He was small in stature. To look at him in a crowd you would not have known he was one of the outstanding athletes in the area. He absolutely dominated his weight class in wrestling all four years at Dirigo. The wrestling community at that school is a proud, tight-knit group. I can only imagine how much they are hurting from this news.”

There is only too much to say about the teen, friend Randy DeRoche Jr. of Dixfield wrote in a message.

“He was a wonderful friend. We grew up idolizing each other. We would hang out every Christmas as a tradition,” DeRoche wrote. “We did it for so many years I would not even ask if he was coming over Christmas Day, eventually he would walk into my house. He was my best friend and best friend to a lot of people in this town.”

Smith studied precision machining in college and graduated with an associate’s degree as a precision machinist, according to a gofundme page at www.gofundme.com/3kgs4-griffyn-smith-memorial-fund set up to help the family with funeral expenses.


He was looking forward to joining the Navy in the fall, according to the post.

“Griffyn … wasn’t a showboater, he just went out and accomplished his goal … win,” Bob McPhee, a longtime Sun Journal sports writer and a friend of Griffyn’s who covered him throughout his career, wrote in an email.

He was always a joy to speak with and extremely gracious, he said.

“Griffyn was a competitor and was determined — on the mat — to achieve his goals,” McPhee said. “Despite being small in stature, he was in control of his endeavors on (the) mat; proving that an individual doesn’t need to be the biggest and strongest to succeed.”

When he graduated he was the “winningest wrestler at Dirigo, 193, and the only four-time state champion,” McPhee wrote.



Griffyn Smith (2016 Sun Journal file photo)

Griffyn Smith, 19, of Dixfield was killed Thursday night in a crash off West Side Road in Weld, state police said. The driver and another passenger were injured. (Maine State Police photo)

A pinwheel was placed at the site where Griffyn Smith, 19, of Dixfield was killed in an automobile accident on the West Side Road in Weld late Thursday night. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

The car Griffyn Smith, 19, of Dixfield was a passenger struck a tree along the West Side Road in Weld on Thursday night. Smith died and two others were injured, police said. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Griffyn Smith 19, of Dixfield was killed when the car he was a passenger in went off the West Side Road and struck a tree in Weld late Thursday night. The impact was just past the telephone pole on the right. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

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