Gov. Paul LePage disclosed Friday that he was hit by a car while bicycling in Florida in November and will require surgery.

LePage said the accident happened Nov. 22 in Daytona Beach when he was riding his bike with his wife, Ann, who was riding behind him.

A young woman who driving a car was distracted and hit him, LePage said in a phone interview Friday.

“She just wasn’t paying attention,” LePage said. “She sent me flying 40 feet and crushed my helmet. Without a helmet, I wouldn’t be here.”

The two-term Republican governor first revealed what had happened to him to a large crowd at the Maine International Trade Day at the Samoset Resort in Rockport on Friday. After delivering remarks, LePage brushed off questions, saying it was “none of your business.”

LePage admitted during his public remarks that he had kept the incident quiet. He raised it when saying he would like to lead a trade mission to Taipei before leaving office in January, but the surgery might complicate his plans.

In a phone interview Friday, LePage initially said he didn’t want to talk about the incident but then revealed additional details. He said the female driver who hit him “was distracted and she did not have insurance.” He said the driver tried to make a turn and cut him off as he was bicycling.

The impact of the crash broke LePage’s helmet “right in two,” he said, and he was taken to the hospital.

LePage did say he has a bad shoulder and the accident exacerbated the problem.

He is going to have surgery in the near future, but did not say when.

“I won’t be playing golf this summer,” he said.


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