Jesse Kontoes

AUBURN — The driver of a car that struck and seriously injured a local man Thursday night on Court Street has been arrested on a charge of driving with a suspended license, authorities said Friday.
The pedestrian, Jesse Kontoes, 57, was listed in fair condition Friday at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston after having undergone surgery.
Jordan Seitz, 23, of Auburn was arrested on a charge of being in an accident involving serious bodily injury while under license suspension, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Because Seitz was on probation at the time of the accident, she was held at Androscoggin County Jail without bail on a probation violation charge.
District Attorney Andrew Robinson has requested further investigation before proceeding with criminal charges.
All felony charges must be brought by indictment by a grand jury to proceed to trial.
Seitz was westbound on Court Street shortly after 9 p.m. Thursday when the 1999 Audi she was driving struck Kontoes, throwing him into the windshield. He has multiple broken bones, including both legs.
Friends and family members said Kontoes also suffered head trauma and may undergo further surgeries.

According to an officer’s narrative, Kontoes was crossing Court Street in the area of Denny’s restaurant when he was struck in the westbound lane.

Officer Andrew Jarman wrote in his report that Seitz “drove too fast for conditions.” Those conditions included snow falling and a wet roadway. The street is posted at 25 mph, according to the report.
Seitz was not hurt in the crash.
Her driver’s license requires she wear corrective lenses, but Jarman wrote that she did not appear to be wearing glasses and said she was not using contact lenses at the time.
The result of a blood-alcohol test is pending to determine if Seitz had alcohol in her system at the time of the crash.
According to state records, Seitz had been in an accident in January and had failed to file insurance after that crash, which led to her suspension.
As news about the accident spread late Thursday, the outpouring of support for Kontoes and his family was immense.
“That guy,” Kristen Negan said, “is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known. He always tells me how beautiful I am every time I see him. He remembers those who are good to him. After everything he’s been through, he deserves only kindness.”
Kontoes is well known around Lewiston and Auburn, where he has been seen walking almost daily for decades.
“If you ever get to talk to him he is very kind and sweet,” Teshia A. Cote of Lewiston said. “Jesse is a rare soul with a heart of gold.”
“He is a well-known landmark an expected fixture,” said Sandy Rozanski, of Auburn. “Fondness grew whenever I spotted him wandering endlessly in search of empty bottles. Hope he comes through this terrible accident and makes a complete recovery.”

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