(PORTLAND, Maine) December 8, 2022 – Two pedestrians were killed in separate incidents on Wednesday, one in Lewiston and one in Hancock. This makes three people killed while walking on Maine roads in less than a week.
“We are deeply troubled by these tragic crashes and send our deepest condolences to the victim’s loved ones,” said Bicycle Coalition of Maine Executive Director Jean Sideris. “These events underscore the importance of drivers taking extra care to watch for people walking on the roads and for continued efforts to improve the safety of Maine roads for all users.”
In Hancock, 67-year old Edwin Rowe was killed early on Wednesday morning when he was hit on Route 1 by a pick-up truck driven by Shawna Hardison.
In Lewiston, a young woman was killed around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday by a driver of a pick-up truck on Lisbon Street. The names of the victim and driver have not been released. Sadly, minutes after that crash a second woman was seriously injured on Park Street after being struck by a 17-year old unlicensed driver, who was driving with no lights on.
These incidents are under investigation. The BCM urges law enforcement to carefully examine the circumstances around these incidents, including pedestrian facilities, history of crashes at this location, driver and pedestrian behavior, phone use records, and any additional circumstances that may have been contributing factors.
We are also concerned about the language used in recent news reports that note the victims were wearing dark clothes. While we encourage pedestrians to take steps to increase their visibility, they are not to blame for their injuries or deaths because they were wearing dark clothes. We encourage news outlets to be mindful about language that could be construed as victim-blaming. BCM hosted a tutorial on crash reporting last year that addresses this issue.
As the days get shorter and darker, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine reminds drivers to slow down and pay extra attention in locations where pedestrians or bicycle riders are likely to appear, especially in inclement weather. Pedestrians and bicyclists are reminded to consider their visibility in low light conditions, and to use lights or reflective materials to help increase their conspicuity.
According to the Maine Department of Transportation crash query tool, these incidents are the 15th and 16th fatal pedestrian crashes in 2022.
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.