Biddeford police are looking for the driver of a car that struck and severely injured an 89-year-old nun from Biddeford, and then drove off without stopping.
Sister Viola Lausier suffered a lacerated liver and collapsed lung in the hit-and-run accident. She also broke her lower right arm, fractured her nose and was cut above her right eye, according to Sister Theresa Therrien, who with Lausier belongs to the Good Shepherd Sisters, also known as the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Lausier was listed in fair condition at Maine Medical Center in Portland on Wednesday night.
“She’s doing OK in the sense that she is still alive,” Therrien said Wednesday from the group’s convent at 290 Elm St. in Biddeford. “But, she is in a lot of pain.”
Deputy Police Chief JoAnne Fisk said that Lausier was crossing Elm Street around 7 a.m. Monday when she was “clipped” by the sideview mirror of a passing motor vehicle. It was raining at the time.
Fisk said police do not have a description of the vehicle or the driver, but hope someone who witnessed the accident will contact them with more information.
Most of the six nuns who live in the convent were in the kitchen eating breakfast at the time of the accident.
“We heard the thump in here, and we all went to the window,” Therrien said. “Sister Lausier was lying flat on her face in the road. The driver had to know they had hit something by the sound.”
Lausier was not in a marked crosswalk when she was struck, Therrien said.
Therrien said a man waved traffic to a halt and carried Lausier inside the convent where he placed her on a bench and stayed with her until the ambulance arrived. Lausier was taken to Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford before being transferred to Maine Medical Center in Portland.
Therrien said the accident happened just after Lausier left the convent to go to work at Saint Andre Home on Elm Street, a social service agency that provides case management and living accommodations for new and pregnant mothers, and helps facilitate adoptions. Lausier is Saint Andre’s finance director.
“She was always there, bright and early,” Therrien said.
“She has been working there seven days a week,” added Sister Annette Nadeau. “She is very devoted to her work.”
Therrien said the sisters hope police can find the driver.
“I just can’t understand why someone would not have stopped,” she said.
Anyone with information should contact Biddeford police at 282-5127.
Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at: