LEWISTON — Two people were struck by a car on Cedar Street on Friday afternoon just days after someone had placed a makeshift crosswalk there.
A man and woman were hit at about 5:30 p.m. as they were attempting to cross near the intersection of Cedar and Oxford streets.
The man who was struck limped out of the roadway and declined to be taken to a hospital. The woman suffered head, abdominal and other injuries when she was knocked to the street by a Buick Regal.
She was taken to Central Maine Medical Center. Witnesses said she was conscious as paramedics treated her and that she was screaming in obvious pain.
The driver of the Buick, a man in his 80s, said he was on his way into Auburn to visit his son when the crash occurred.
“They tell me that two people ran out in front of me,” he said. “I never saw them. This is so scary.”
The driver was not hurt, although he was visibly shaken. Bystanders produced a chair and set it in the grass in front of the Dolard & Priscilla Gendron Franco Center so he could sit down.
The identities of those involved were not immediately available as police began their investigation.
Witnesses said the pair had been near the corner of River Street when they attempted to dash across Cedar Street as commuter traffic raced past.
The Buick struck the pair, those witnesses said, and then came to a stop.
Dozens of people flocked to the area as police and emergency crews arrived. Several said that strip of Cedar Street is particularly dangerous for anyone trying to cross.
Franco Center Director Mitchell Thomas said he has been complaining for years and trying to get the city to put down a crosswalk in the area.
“People play ‘Frogger’ out there every day,” Thomas said. “It’s a death just waiting to happen.”
Earlier in the week, someone used reflective tape to stretch a crosswalk across Cedar Street.
“They did a nice job,” said Thomas, who said he had no idea who put down the crosswalk.
City crews went to Cedar Street a day later and scraped the tape off the roadway, leaving behind two fading black strips.
The crash Friday night occurred roughly 50 feet from that spot.
The late afternoon crash caused traffic snarls on both sides of the Lown Peace Bridge as police closed down one lane of Cedar Street.