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Cyclist dies in Hanover
HANOVER- A 23-year old Massachusetts man died Friday while participating in the first leg of the Trek Across Maine from Bethel to Belfast, when he lost control of his bike and crashed. Initial reports stated that he may have made contact with a tractor trailer traveling east near the town office.
David LeClair, of Watertwon, MA, was riding with members of his Athena Health team, when eyewitnesses claim that he was struck by a tractor trailer, owned by Beauregard Transport of Quebec. The truck driver, not realizing that contact between his trailer and LeClair had been made, continued traveling east. LeClair died at the scene in spite of fellow cyclists’ assistance.
A description of the truck was given to police and was later stopped in the Marden’s parking lot in Rumford, where the driver was interviewed and the truck was examined. The bicycle was also brought to the scene to compare possible findings.
State Police, as well as Rumford and Oxford County officers assisted in the physical investigation that was still being conducted at 4 p.m.
State Police had previously speculated from eyewitness reports that a possible draft from the truck had pulled LeClair into the rear tires. Upon further investigation over the weekend and on Monday morning, state police ruled the death an accident due to LeClair losing control of his bike when he reached to take a drink of water.
Initial police reports stated that LeClair was riding with several of his Athena Health team when the accident occurred. He was riding in the breakdown lane between the white line and the guardrails. The tractor trailer was found to have been in his eastbound travel lane, as well.
There will be no charges brought against the driver of the truck and the case has been ruled an accident.
The Trek Across Maine is hosted by the American Lung Association and travels 180 miles from Bethel to Belfast. More than 2,000 cyclists come from all over New England to participate and help raise funds for the ALA.
In a statement released by Jeff Seyler, CEO of the American Lung Association, “It is with deepest sadness that the American Lung Association of the Northeast reports the passing of a member of our Trek family at our annual Trek Across Maine. All of us at the American Lung Association express our profound sadness at this tragic loss of life and offer our deepest condolences to the family.”