(PORTLAND, Maine) June 21, 2022 – A 35-year-old South Portland resident was killed in a hit and run in Acadia National Park over the weekend.
Nicole Mokeme, 35, was struck sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning by the driver of a black 2016 BMW X3 SUV registered to 35-year-old Raymond Lester of Portland. Police are still searching for the vehicle, said Shannon Moss, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety.
“This is a heart-wrenching tragedy,” said Bicycle Coalition of Maine Assistant Director Jim Tassé. “We are deeply troubled by this news.”
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.
Mokeme was an organizer of the Black Excellence Retreat 2022 at the Schoodic Institute in Winter Harbor, which she was attending at the time of the crash. Mokeme was also the creative director of the Rise and Shine Youth Retreat, which offers wellness retreats and other programs for Black youths and adults.
Friends say Mokeme will be remembered for her bright spirit and kindness, and her work helping young Black and indigenous kids experience the Maine outdoors and gain confidence in the process.
The BMW SUV has a Maine license plate, number 5614WM, and may have damage to its front end and undercarriage. Residents are advised not to approach the vehicle or driver.
Anyone who believes they have spotted the vehicle in question can contact the Maine State Police at (207) 973-9700.
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine works to make Maine a better and safer place to bike and walk. Founded in 1992, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine has grown into the leading bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group in the state. The Coalition believes all Mainers should have access to bikes and bike education, and we envision a future where Maine’s roads, public ways, and trails are safe and accessible, resulting in cleaner travel options, improved health, and stronger economic benefits for Maine communities.