Dec. 19, 2019 (PORTLAND, Maine) – Maxine Stanley, 82, was struck and killed Wednesday night while crossing Route 17 in Rockport. This is Maine’s fourteenth pedestrian fatality of 2019.
The operator of the vehicle, Timothy Sawtelle of Albion, 61, hit Stanley at approximately 4:39 p.m. as she was attempting to cross from her neighbor’s home to her own, located near Lake Chickawaukie.
The crash is currently under investigation by the Rockport Police Departments, led by Sgt. James Moore.
“We are disheartened to learn of a second pedestrian fatality in Maine in just five days,” says Jim Tassé, assistant director of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. “It is concerning to see that the number of pedestrian fatalities in Maine in 2019 has doubled since 2018, and is approaching the highwater mark of 2017 that warranted the start of the Heads Up! initiative,” a roadway safety program launched by the MaineDOT and the BCM.
In 2018, the year following the start of the Heads Up! program, pedestrian fatalities dropped from 7 to 21 in 2017. Fourteen pedestrians died on Maine’s roads in 2016.
The Coalition will continue to monitor these crashes for more information that may help to determine if any changes could be made to the streetscapes to improve safety for vulnerable users. Additionally, the Coalition emphasizes the importance of motorists being alert and aware during the darkest days of the year, as well as to always obey speed limits and never drive distracted or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
Please note that pedestrians and other vulnerable users can be present on Maine’s roadways in
all conditions and times of the day. Pedestrians and cyclists should use extra care to be visible, especially when walking or biking after dark, and to follow both the law and best practices for roadway safety.