August 4, 2013

Police piecing together Biddeford crash

Police try to determine how fast a pickup truck was going when it struck two bicyclists, one of whom had a toddler in a child seat.

By Edward D. Murphy
Staff Writer

BIDDEFORD - Police said Saturday they are still seeking details as they try to sort out the crash that seriously injured a 15-month-old boy and the 51-year-old man who had the child in a bicycle seat Friday.

Jamerico Elliott of Saco and the boy were hit Friday around 6 p.m. when the driver of a pickup truck crossed the centerline and struck them on the opposite sidewalk along a congested part of Route 1, which is called Elm Street in Biddeford.

An accident reconstruction team, which will return to the scene for more analysis Sunday, determined that there were no tire marks on the street, said Joanne Fisk, a Biddeford deputy police chief.

The lack of tire marks could be an indication that the driver either did not hit the brakes or did not hit them hard.

Maine Medical Center listed Elliott in critical condition Saturday and Fisk said the boy, whose name has not been released, is also in critical condition.

The driver of the pickup, David Labonte, 56, of Kennebunkport, was treated at Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford and released Friday night, Fisk said.

A blood sample had been drawn to see if Labonte had been drinking. Results won't be available for a few days, she said.

Police have impounded Labonte's pickup, Fisk said, and will likely seek a court order to gain access to the "black box," which should have recorded the speed of the vehicle before, during and after the crash.

According to police, Labonte was headed north on Elm Street when he veered across the street and hit Elliott, the boy and Melodie Brennan, 30, of Saco, who was also riding a bicycle. All three were headed south, police said.

Labonte's truck then continued on, hitting a parked pickup truck with such force that a granite foundation block was pushed into a house by the parked truck.

Fisk said the accident reconstruction team was working Saturday to determine, among other factors, how fast Labonte was driving when the crash occurred.

She said police have not determined the relationship, if any, between Elliott, Brennan and the boy. However, she said that after Brennan was treated at SMMC and released, she asked to accompany Elliott and the boy to Maine Med. Fisk said Elliott and the boy were initially taken to SMMC for treatment before being transferred to the Portland hospital.

Fisk said police are still piecing together much of what happened and it could be days until they get a better picture.

"There's a whole story here; we just don't know it yet," she said.

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

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