Stuart “Toby” Pennels, a Casco-based financial adviser who is running for the District 26 Maine Senate seat, was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident near Rangeley on Sunday afternoon.

After riding with two friends from the Lakes Region to the Height of Land scenic overview south of Rangeley, Pennels’ Harley Davidson motorcycle began to fishtail as the group headed south on Route 4 amid light rain showers, said Mike Reynolds, a Raymond selectman who was riding with Pennels. Reynolds said Pennels was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

The group was riding about 45 miles per hour in the early afternoon when Pennels motorcycle fishtailed into the left lane, according to Reynolds, veering into the path of an oncoming pickup truck.

“He realized that he wasn’t going to be able to get his bike into our lane, and he tried to dive off his bike so that he wouldn’t crash into the traffic,” Reynolds said. “He made a conscious decision, as far as I can tell. It was a heroic effort to save himself.”

Reynolds said that Pennels dove into the right lane, but rolled back toward the left lane after a hard landing on the wet pavement. Although Pennels managed to avoid a head-on collision with the truck, Reynolds said, the vehicle appeared to hit his leg.

According to Reynolds, Pennels broke an arm and a leg, and has suffered from internal bleeding. Reynolds said that Pennels had also possibly broken his pelvis. Pennels was stabilized at the Lewiston-based Central Maine Medical Center’s Critical Care Unit last night, Reynolds said.

Hospital spokesmen, as well as the Rangeley and Phillips Fire Department could not be reached for immediate comment.

“I know he was in surgery until late last night,” Reynolds said. “There were probably 20 people there last night family, friends. There were a lot of people there to support last night.”

Reynolds said that, prior to the arrival of emergency crews, a number of volunteers from passing cars took command of the accident scene.

“We had people directing traffic, we had people flagging, we had people caring for Toby,” Reynolds said. “It was amazing.”

Reynolds said that he wanted to thank an unidentified lifeguard who had delivered emergency care to Pennels.

“He was one of the people that saved Toby,” Reynolds said. “I don’t know who he was.”

Toby Pennels


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.