Bath police report that a bicyclist sustained serious injuries after being hit by a car at the intersection of Middle and Russell streets. The driver of the car immediately left the scene after the accident, which police say occurred around 10 p.m. on July 13th.
The injured bicyclist was transported to Maine Medical Center in Portland. According to police, the unidentified bicyclist had life-threatening head and leg injuries.
As police searched the area for the car involved in the hit-and-run accident, relatives of the driver contacted them and explained what the driver said had occurred. The driver, Daniel Willey, 27, of Bath, was arrested by police and charged with failing to stop for an accident involving death or personal injury.
Additional charges were filed against Willey for causing serious bodily injury or death while operating a vehicle with a revoked license. Authorities also issued Willey a summons on a charge of operating a vehicle with a suspended license.
Catastrophic Bicycle Accidents
Bicycles are everywhere on our roads, especially during the summer months. Cyclists are considered “vulnerable users” in Maine because they are more vulnerable to injury in a collision than a person in a car or truck. It may seem obvious due to the disparity in size and weight, but collisions between cyclists and cars, like this one, usually result in catastrophic injuries for the cyclist.
In general, cyclists are required to follow the same traffic rules as cars. But, it’s important to understand that because of their status as vulnerable users, cyclists are afforded special protections that must be taken into consideration in any legal claim.
Bicycle Accident Attorneys Serving Clients Throughout New England
While it isn’t entirely clear from the news reports how this collision occurred, many collisions between cars and cyclists could be avoided if motor vehicle operators understood—and followed—Maine’s safe passing statute. 29-A M.R.S.A. 2070 states that a person operating a motor vehicle that is passing a bicycle MUST leave a distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of AT LEAST 3 feet. This is a minimum requirement, and, where practical, more space should be given to the cyclist.
In any accident involving a bicycle, it is important to consult with an attorney who understands the traffic laws and how they apply differently to cyclists and motor vehicle operators. At Shaheen & Gordon, P.A., we proudly help clients pursue maximum compensation for their accident injuries. Call (603) 635-4099 today to set up a consultation with our legal team.