RUMFORD – A Rumford man was flown to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston after being struck by a sport-utility vehicle while walking across Route 2 atop Falls Hill at dusk.

Lying in the center of the westbound lane, pedestrian David Mitchell, 38, was initially unresponsive when reached by Med-Care Ambulance and Rumford firefighters shortly after the 4:20 p.m. mishap, police and Med-Care officials said.

The driver who struck him was identified as David Povelite, 76, of Andover.

Rumford police Cpl. Doug Maifeld said Mitchell, who suffered head injuries, was taken by Med-Care to Rumford Hospital from where he was then taken by LifeFlight helicopter to the Lewiston hospital.

The accident happened in a dimly lit area just beyond a crosswalk, backing up rush-hour traffic for miles in both directions. Rumford firefighters handled traffic control.

Povelite “came up over the hill and (Mitchell) crossed over the road. He wasn’t in the crosswalk. Mr. Povelite said he was driving about 30 to 35 mph when he hit him,” Maifeld said.

The impact dented the black 1997 Jeep Cherokee in two places. Maifeld asked for reconstruction help to better determine what happened. An investigation is continuing. No charges were filed.

As a matter of routine when a serious injury accident occurs, Povelite, who wasn’t injured, was taken by police to Rumford hospital for a blood-alcohol check. His vehicle was temporarily impounded.

Virgin Street resident Leroy Varnum witnessed the accident from his porch on a hill behind a Rumford ice cream business.

“Once I heard the smash and saw (Povelite) back up, that’s when I saw the body lying on the ground,” Varnum said. “This is a really bad intersection. This town really needs to do something about it and this crosswalk.”

There are no street lights illuminating the crosswalk or highway area where Mitchell was struck. One officer said there ought to be flashing yellow lights to better alert drivers to pedestrians.

The speed limit is 35 mph going up the hill, then just beyond it, the speed reverts to 25 mph through a business zone.

“Nobody does 35 miles an hour when they come up over that hill,” Varnum said. “Even Sheriff Wayne Gallant doesn’t cross there when he’s out walking, because he knows that’s a dangerous intersection. My daughter got hit here this summer. It’s really hectic here. I don’t let my kids cross here anymore,” Varnum said.


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