Longtime Hyde School teacher, administrator dies in Bath crash

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BATH — A 65-year-old Phippsburg man who was a longtime Hyde School educator died Wednesday night in a motor vehicle accident, according to police.

Cpl. Jason Aucoin and Officer Shaun Cavanaugh responded to 462 High St. at 6:09 p.m. They found two vehicles in the yard of the residence; a man later identified as Paul W. Hurd was found dead in the driver’s seat of a silver 2012 Toyota Camry, and there was no one in the other vehicle.

Police determined the second vehicle had been parked in front of the home, and was not occupied. They said Hurd’s vehicle was heading south on High Street and left the road near 468 High St. before driving up a small grade and running into the parked car at 462 High St.

Hurd spent most of the last 35 years at Hyde School as a history and government teacher. He also served as head of school in the late 1990s and was admissions head at one time, according to Ken Grant, a Hyde science teacher.

Grant said Hurd, who is survived by a wife and three children, graduated from Morse High School in 1966 and spent a year at Hyde before attending Bowdoin College in Brunswick.

Hurd was a co-founder of Hyde’s Connecticut campus, and of a magnet school in that state, Grant said.

“I have known Paul since the very early ’70s,” Grant recalled, calling Hurd a gifted teacher who “without a question … has taught more students at Hyde than any other faculty member in the history of the place. He began a scholars program here, which morphed into … the Hyde Leadership Society. You name the job, he had it: teacher, coach, dorm parent, history department chair … admissions head for a period of time as well as the head of the school.”

He said Hurd “wasn’t afraid of being a pioneer. When Hyde needed some help to go to New Haven … and start that magnet school, he was the first to raise his hand.”

Detective Andrew Booth, a crash reconstructionist, is assisting in the investigation. The state medical examiner’s office will examine Hurd’s body in order to determine how he died.

Police said there was no evidence that drug use or alcohol were factors in the accident, and there were no indications that Hurd took evasive maneuvers when he left the roadway, or before his vehicle hit the parked car.

They said they believe Hurd could have had a medical problem while he was driving.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.