Edwin Pierpont stands with his daughter, Paris Pierpont, behind his 2,121.5-pound pumpkin during the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest weigh off on Oct. 3. It set a state record. Paris Pierpont died in a car crash in Edgecomb on the evening of Oct. 10. Credit: Evan Houk / Lincoln County News

The 17-year-old girl who died in a crash on River Road in Edgecomb on Oct. 10 is being remembered as a “helper.”

Paris Pierpont of Jefferson was the daughter of Edwin and Bobbie Pierpont. Edwin recently set the Maine state record for heaviest giant pumpkin at the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest weigh-off on Oct. 3.

On Oct. 11, a memorial with flowers and chalk was set up by Paris’ friend Vlade Sherrill, 20, of Nobleboro in front of the area where the prize-winning pumpkin is displayed on Theater Street in downtown Damariscotta.

“When I heard about it, I couldn’t really think of a better spot,” Sherrill said.

Sherrill invited people to stop by the memorial to pay tribute by leaving flowers, writing a message or a heart on the street with chalk, or lighting a candle. The road remained closed for the memorial until Oct. 13.

Mourners held vigil late into the night on both Oct. 11 and 12.

Sherrill knew Paris Pierpont when they both attended Lincoln Academy. He said he last saw her at the school’s homecoming this year. Pierpont was a student at Medomak Valley High School prior to her death, Sherrill said.

He remembered Pierpont’s energy and intensity on the basketball court. He said they used to play basketball together at the Central Lincoln County YMCA in Damariscotta.

“She’s always full of energy, so positive,” Sherrill said.

Paris’ mother, Bobbie Pierpont, said that Paris was a “helper,” was always positive and a tenacious player on the basketball court.

“She was huge into helping people. She’d give people the last $20 in her pocket to help a friend out. She thought the best of everyone, she never thought anybody would take advantage of her,” Bobbie said.

Bobbie said that her daughter transferred from Lincoln Academy to Medomak Valley High School in her junior year to pursue an emergency medical technician certification program at Mid-Coast School of Technology in Rockland and eventually become a nurse.

Bobbie said that after Paris had surgery on her ankle, which she sprained several times playing basketball, the positive experience in the hospital gave her a long-term goal of becoming a nurse.

“She wanted to be a nurse and then move on to be an OR nurse, so she could do what those people did for her, which was make a bad situation good and make her feel good about it,” Bobbie said.

Paris’ best friend since kindergarten, Allison Bennett of Jefferson, said that her friend wouldn’t have wanted her to be sad. She said Paris would have wanted everyone at the memorial to be laughing and joking, because that’s the type of positive person she was.

“She would make everyone laugh no matter how they were feeling. So I feel like all of us sitting here and writing things, she’d probably be telling us we shouldn’t do that. We should be making jokes or something,” Bennett said.

Bennett said that Paris got her involved in playing basketball and riding dirt bikes when she was in fifth or sixth grade.

Bennett told a story about the first time she rode a dirt bike with Paris and she instantly hit a tree and fell off the bike, laughing hysterically along with Paris.

“I got back on after like five minutes of laughing, and then I ended up getting my own dirt bike like two years later,” Bennett said.

Pierpont was driving a 1998 Volkswagen Beetle north on River Road about 10:10 p.m. on Oct. 10 when the vehicle crossed into the southbound lane, left the road and struck a utility pole and tree, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

The airbags in the vehicle deployed, but Pierpont was not wearing a seatbelt. Pierpont, who was the only person in the vehicle, died at the scene.

This story appears through a media partnership with The Lincoln County News.