WEST BALDWIN – Daniel H. Fifield Jr. had a promising life ahead of him.

He served nearly four years in the Army as a cavalry scout in Iraq and worked for the past year or so at Countryside Butchers in Cornish. He had plans to one day go to college to become a zoologist.

But his life ended tragically on Tuesday. Mr. Fifield was headed home on Pigeon Brook Road at about 9:30 p.m. when his off-road-style bike crossed into the oncoming lane, left the road, went into a culvert and crashed into a fence.

He was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where he died from his injuries. He was 28.

His mother, Kelli Fifield, struggled to understand how her son could die so suddenly when he had so much to offer the world.

“It’s unbelievable,” she said with a soft and shaky voice. “I’ll miss his smile and his love of life. I’ll miss how he loved his dog and stood up for anything that was smaller than him. He made me so proud.”

Mr. Fifield grew up in Baldwin and graduated from Windham High School in 2003. After graduation, he worked for a local construction business doing roofing work.

Mr. Fifield wanted more for himself. So at age 23, he enlisted in the Army and served as a cavalry scout during the surge of Baghdad in Iraq.

His mother noted that she had recently read some of the cards and letters her son had mailed to her during his deployment. She said while serving there, he decided to pursue a career in zoology. His decision was based on some of the injustices he saw relating to stray dogs and other animals.

Mr. Fifield was discharged three years ago.

“He was a changed man when he came back,” his mother said. “He was more understanding of the world.”

Soon after returning home, he adopted a rescue dog named Ares.

He also stepped up at home to support his mother. He had close relationships with his two brothers, Matthew and Christopher Fifield, both of Baldwin.

He is also survived by his father, Daniel Fifield Sr. of Baldwin.

His mother said Mr. Fifield was a generous and loyal friend who had a passion for fishing, boating and spending time with friends and family at Sebago Lake. He was also a second-degree black belt in karate.

Most recently, Mr. Fifield worked as a meat cutter at Countryside Butchers in Cornish.

Vicki Lakeman, the manager of the butcher shop, said he was a hard worker who did everything she asked of him.

“If I needed him to work, he was there,” Lakeman said. “He was very polite with the customers. He was a very caring person. If there was something bothering me, he would ask if I was okay. He was a good natured person. He will be missed around here.”

On the day he died, Mr. Fifield spent the day fishing with his cousin at Sebago Lake.

His mother believes he was coming home Tuesday night when he crashed his bike a short distance from their home on Pigeon Brook Road. She doesn’t know what caused the accident. The state Medical Examiner’s Office is conducting an autopsy. 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

[email protected]