Jewell Friedman, 87, who was critically injured last month in Saco when hit by a pickup truck whose driver then fled the scene, died Saturday at Maine Medical Center in Portland.
A hospital official said Friedman, who had been in critical condition, died about 6 a.m.
Friedman was hit by the truck while walking her dog on Ferry Road at about 10 a.m. on June 21. Two days later Leo Paul Bedard, 45, of Saco was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, a felony charge, after Saco police received a telephone tip that led them to Bedard and his white pickup truck, which had damage to a headlight consistent with a collision.
Saco police Sgt. Corey Huntress declined to say whether Bedard would face further charges. He also declined to comment on whether Friedman died as a result of the accident. Huntress said an autopsy would be performed on Friedman’s body by the state Medical Examiner’s Office.
Huntress would not comment on a report that Bedard’s 10-year-old son was with him when he hit Friedman.
“It’s all under investigation,” Huntress said.
Bedard is being held at the York County Jail on the felony charge and previous outstanding charges, including driving after license suspension, failing to appear in court and violating the conditions of release.
Friedman, who lived at the Atlantic Heights retirement community off Ferry Road, was a familiar figure in her neighborhood, where she would walk her Samoyed, Selena, several times a day. She and her husband, Don, who died in February, moved to Saco four years ago from Franconia, New Hampshire, where they had retired after long careers in journalism and at the University of Connecticut.
Friedman’s dog, which was not hurt in the accident, is being cared for by her friends Steve and Cathy Fennell of Saco.
“Jewell was pretty persistent and walked her at least twice a day,” said Steve Fennell.
Fennell said the dog is a strong animal and Friedman would look down at the ground as she walked. He said she could have walked into oncoming traffic without looking when she was hit.
“Jewell would have had no malice towards that driver. She has already forgiven him,” Fennell said.