BELFAST — A 15-year-old girl has died, two days after she was hit by a car while riding her bike on Route 1.

Laila Al-Matrouk of Belfast had been on life support before her death, according to a Facebook post by her older sister, who called Laila “beautiful, smart, strong willed, outspoken, funny and charismatic.”

Witnesses told police the bicyclist appeared to have been attempting to make a left turn out of her driveway into Searsport Avenue on Sunday when she was struck by a passing vehicle.

Belfast police responded at about 2:30 p.m. to a report of a “serious accident” on Route 1 near the Searsport town line, where they found the girl “severely injured” and unresponsive, said Belfast Police Chief Mike McFadden.

Witnesses interviewed by police said Al-Matrouk, whose name was not immediately released, crossed safely over the southbound lane before being hit by a vehicle that was traveling in the northbound lane.

According to the witnesses, she appeared to have looked to the left but not to the right.

McFadden said the vehicle that hit Al-Matrouk was traveling at a speed typical for that stretch of road, which has a posted speed limit of 55 mph, according to a Maine Department of Transportation map. He said the driver tried to avoid the bicyclist.

The driver was not injured, and McFadden said neither speed nor alcohol are being considered as factors in the crash.

Al-Matrouk was taken by ambulance to Waldo County General Hospital, then flown by LifeFlight helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center.

Police continue to investigate the circumstances of the crash.

According to the Facebook post, Laila Al-Matrouk will be buried in Kuwait. A service will be held in the United States at a date to be determined. Her sister asked that family and friends refrain from contacting them while they are grieving.

Troy Howard Middle School will be open with counselors and staff available in the library to help grieving students and staff Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

filed under: