BRUNSWICK, Maine — Still recovering from bruises and other injuries, state Rep. Mattie Daughtry said Wednesday she’s “lucky and glad I’m alive” after being struck by a car while bicycling Friday on Federal Street.
Daughtry, a Democrat who represents a portion of Brunswick, was out enjoying the sun Friday afternoon, was traveling north on her Raleigh Cross bike when a 1999 Ford pulled out of Green Street, turned left and hit her.
The driver, 71-year-old Gary Babine of Brunswick, was issued a criminal summons for failure to yield at a stop sign, according to Deputy Chief Marc Hagan of the Brunswick Police Department.
Daughtry, who was wearing a helmet, said the impact of the collision propelled her over the hood of the car. She landed on the ground and did not seek immediate medical treatment.
She later had a friend drive her to the hospital, but she was reluctant to speak about specific injuries, instead focusing on “how careful we all need to be.”
Brunswick touts its national designation as a “bicycle-friendly community.” The town posts signs warning motorists of a state law that requires them to keep 3 feet between their vehicles and bicyclists. Each year, the Merrymeeting Wheelers Bicycle Club holds a silent ride starting in downtown Brunswick to honor cyclists who have been injured or killed while riding. This year’s silent ride is scheduled for May 18.
Since her incident, Daughtry, who is completing her second term in the Legislature and plans to seek re-election, has heard from constituents about their concerns related to bicycle safety.
She referred to an incident March 31, 2016, when Joseph Lamothe, 34, died after he was struck by a pickup truck while biking on Route 196.
“One death is too many,” she said. “Drivers need to be looking out not just for cars but for walkers, bicyclists, snowmobiles, farm vehicles. And they need to be especially careful in neighborhoods like where I was hit, with so many surrounding schools and playgrounds.”
Babine “did stop and totally expressed remorse and was apologetic” after the crash, Daughtry said. “But that doesn’t really change the fact that he could have killed me or someone else.”