Wednesday, December 4, 2013
By Craig Crosby firstname.lastname@example.org
MANCHESTER -- A Poland woman was seriously injured when she crashed her motorcycle on Western Avenue delivering a toy for Sunday's United Bikers of Maine toy run.
Motorcyclists pull out of Augusta at the start of the annual toy run sponsored Sunday by the United Bikers of Maine. The annual ride, attended by thousands, wound up in Windsor where bikers donated toys for children.
Staff photy by Andy Molloy
Kathy Jesiolowski, 53, was taken by ambulance to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston with what was believed to be a serious head injury, said Kennebec County Sheriff Deputy Scott Mills.
Rescue workers initially called for a LifeFlight of Maine helicopter to take Jesiolowski to the hospital, Mills said, but the request was canceled because the nearest aircraft was in Bangor.
Jesiolowski was wearing a helmet, Mills said.
Her motorcycle, a 2012 Harley-Davidson, sustained relatively minor damage.
Jesiolowski was injured just before noon as she and roughly 50 other motorcycles, including her husband, were headed east on Western Avenue to join thousands of other toy run riders at the Augusta Civic Center.
The motorcycles continued in a group into the construction zone in Manchester where the pavement is grooved, manhole covers rise several inches above the surface and barrels in the road mark spots where the pavement has been cut away.
Mills said a foot peg of a motorcycle in front of Jesiolowski hit one of the orange barrels that had been placed near Central Maine Drywall and knocked it into her path.
"She was unable to avoid it," Mills said.
The impact knocked Jesiolowski's motorcycle to the pavement. She laid motionless in the road for several minutes.
Dozens of motorcycles stopped behind Jesiolowski as riders, including rescue workers and nurses who were riding in the group, attended to Jesiolowski. The riders parked their bikes in nearby parking lots. Many recounted what they seen. Others offered reassuring hugs and words of comfort.
Ryan Trudell of Lewiston, who was riding in the group with his wife, said the construction site was difficult to navigate. The riders slowed noticeably when they entered the zone.
"The grooved pavement and the manhole covers are dangerous," Trudell said.
A long line of vehicles backed up in both directions on Western Avenue as traffic was reduce to one line for roughly 20 minutes while workers tended Jesiolowski.
Sunday's was the 30th annual toy run. Many of the bikers, including Jesiolowski, had attached American flags to their motorcycles in honor of the tenth anniversary of the terrorists attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Trudell said he did not know Jesiolowski. The motorcycles had met up at the Red Roof in Leeds for the ride to the Augusta Civic Center. Upwards of 20,000 riders were expected to leave the Civic Center around noon for the ride to the Windsor Fair where thousands of toys are collected to be distributed to children throughout the state at Christmas time.