April 6, 2012

Augusta woman, 81, dies after being struck on sidewalk

AUGUSTA — An 81-year-old city woman remembered as an avid walker has died after she was struck -- while walking on a sidewalk -- by an out-of-control Jeep last week. 

Ruth Epperson, of Augusta, died Thursday afternoon at Maine Medical Center in Portland, where she had been listed in critical condition, according to her family.

Epperson had been walking on the sidewalk along North Belfast Avenue when she was hit by a 1999 Jeep Cherokee driven by Joshua Erskine, 24, of Windsor, who was not injured.

Police on Friday declined to discuss the case, saying it remains under investigation. Erskine has not been charged in connection with the crash.

Epperson’s son, Gerald Epperson, of West Gardiner, said his mother, an avid walker, trekked up and down that road for 44 years without an incident. She walked several miles a day, according to her sister, Neva Moody, of Monroe.

The crash happened about 3:30 p.m. Erskine was driving east on North Belfast Avenue when his Jeep swerved across the westbound lane and hit a car parked in a driveway. His Jeep caromed off the parked car and plowed into Epperson, who was walking on the sidewalk.

Epperson was taken to Portland by a LifeFlight helicopter with extensive injuries.

Her husband, Clyde Epperson, said she was admitted to the trauma unit and never regained consciousness.

Clyde and Ruth Epperson have two children, Gerald Epperson and Ann Young, of Fayette; two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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