(PORTLAND, Maine) Dec. 21, 2021 – A Bangor man who was struck by the driver of a pickup truck in Bangor on Friday night has died.
Gary Rich, 74, was crossing the street on Broadway near the corner of Oak and York streets when he was hit. Rich was taken to the hospital for serious injuries, which he succumbed to Monday night.
“Another tragic incident on Maine’s roads—our hearts go out to the family and friends of Gary Rich,” said Bicycle Coalition of Maine Executive Director Jean Sideris, who notes that this is the nineteenth pedestrian fatality in Maine this year. In 2020, 10 pedestrians were killed on Maine roadways. In 2019, 17 pedestrians were killed.
“Sadly, we’ve had to repeat this message all too often this year,” Sideris said. “We can and must do more to make our roads safe for all users, and especially for vulnerable users, including those walking, biking, and using wheelchairs or other mobility devices.”
The BCM urges law enforcement to carefully investigate and examine the roadway conditions, pedestrian facilities, history of crashes at this location, driver behavior, and any additional circumstances that may have been contributing factors.
The Coalition says Maine must make lasting investments to improve road safety and provide better facilities for people walking and biking.
“Simply walking on the edge of a roadway should not be a life-threatening activity,” Sideris said. “As we seek long-term investments for Maine’s transportation system, we implore all drivers in the short term to immediately slow down, pay attention, and remember you could encounter people on nearly any road. For people walking or biking, follow the rules of the road: Walk against traffic, use the sidewalk and crosswalks if they are available, and think about how visible you may be to drivers. Sadly, we need to expect that drivers will be speeding and possibly distracted—being visible can help keep you safe.”
Please note that a previous release included an error related to the total number of fatalities. By our revised count, 19 pedestrians and two cyclists have been killed on Maine roads this year.
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is the statewide voice of cyclists and pedestrians. Since 1992, the BCM has led the effort to make Maine better for bicycling and walking by protecting the rights and safety of cyclists and pedestrians through education, advocacy, legislation, and encouragement. We support biking and walking for health, transportation, and recreation. For more information, visit bikemaine.org.