The investigation into the death of a Portland native who was struck and killed while riding a bicycle in Gorham Aug. 26 is continuing.

Stephen Palmer, 72, who lived in Gorham at the time of his death, was killed after the bike he was riding collided with an SUV on Sebago Lake Road. Windham Rescue transported Palmer to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where he was pronounced dead.

Police identified the driver of the 2018 Toyota RAV4 as Alex Ishimwe, 21, of Portland. An Aug. 26 press release only said the accident remained under investigation and charges had not been filed. Police had no updated information as of Tuesday, according to Gorham Deputy Chief Mike Nault.

Palmer, a Portland native, was a bus driver for the Gorham School Department. He was also an outdoorsman and enjoyed gardening, hiking and bicycling, according to an obituary published Tuesday in the Portland Press Herald.

Palmer graduated from Deering High School in 1967, after which he served in the Army and then worked as a groundskeeper for the city of Portland until he retired in 1998.

He also owned his own courier business before he was hired by the Gorham School Department in 2018.


“He was a great guy. Drove a special ed bus,” Gorham Transportation Director Norm Justice said Monday. Justice also said Palmer helped the schools during the pandemic. “He did a bunch of landscaping and mowing for us,” he said.

A celebration of Palmer’s life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 3, at Faith Lutheran Church, 988 Roosevelt Trail, Windham. A reception will follow.

The Rev. Timothy Higgins, a St. Ann’s pastor, spoke Tuesday on behalf of both churches. Higgins said Palmer had a huge heart and was generous.

“He was a cheerful giver,” Higgins said.

As a Faith Lutheran volunteer, he cooked in a meals program, feeding dozens of people. He also volunteered in the St. Ann’s Episcopal Church’s Essentials Pantry program.

Jocelia Hartwell, of Gorham, remembered Palmer as both a neighbor and as a parishioner at Faith Lutheran. Palmerwas often onsite to look after the church lawn and do repairs, she said, and, as a neighbor, Palmer cared for Hartwell’s horse and goats after she had surgery.

“He can’t be replaced,” Hartwell said. “He’ll be greatly missed.”

The accident marked the second death of a bicyclist this year in Maine and matches last year’s total, according to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of another cyclist fatality in Maine,” Bicycle Coalition of Maine Executive Director Jean Sideris said in a statement.

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