EDDINGTON, Maine — In the span of two weeks, two women have died attempting to retrieve their mail.
“It’s tragic,” Troy Morton, Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department deputy chief, said Monday.
Maureen Waltz, 46, was killed instantly Sunday night when she was struck by a truck with an attached plow after crossing Route 9 to get her and her parents’ mail.
“She had crossed the road, retrieved mail from two separate mailboxes and was crossing back when struck by the plow truck,” Morton said.
Waltz resided next to her parents, he said.
Richard Chapman, 41, also of Eddington, was behind the wheel of the 2003 GMC pickup truck that struck the Eddington woman. He reportedly did not see Waltz, who was wearing dark clothing, Morton said.
“There are no street lights in that particular area,” he said. “No charges have been filed. However, it’s still under investigation.”
Alcohol and speed “do not appear to be factors,” Morton said.
The collision occurred just before 5:25 p.m. near the Eddington Store.
Waltz is the third local pedestrian killed by vehicles in the last three weeks. Beulah Ireland, 90, of Lincoln was heading out to get her mail on Dec. 29 when she was hit and killed by a logging truck in front of her home, and Billie Jean Davis, 38, of Bangor stepped into the path of a pickup truck with an attached plow in downtown Bangor on Dec. 26. She died from her injuries at Eastern Maine Medical Center on Jan. 2.
Precautions need to be taken by pedestrians to make sure they are visible to drivers, Morton said.
“If possible, retrieve mail during the day,” he recommended. “Anytime you have to cross the road during the night, make sure to use a flashlight and wear reflective clothing.”
But more importantly, “Be aware of ongoing traffic.”
“This is not just simply for getting mail,” Morton stressed.
Every year, police receive reports of incidents involving pedestrians and vehicles that occur when people are “shoveling snow or snowblowing,” he said. “Roads are generally narrower this time of year” and snowbanks can make people less visible.
Morton said he was shocked and saddened at the number of recent pedestrian deaths.
Waltz worked for Eastern Maine Development Corp., Michael Aube, president and chief executive officer, said in an e-mail circulated Monday.
“As a co-worker I was impressed at Maureen’s can-do attitude, her spirits and her wonderful smile,” he said. “She contributed to the CVB [Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau] effort to improve her community.”
Waltz was the director of visitor services for the convention and visitors bureau and helped to organize Bangor’s New Year’s Eve countdown.
“I cannot say nicer things about a person,” Kerrie Tripp, the visitors bureau’s executive director, said Monday. “She was an amazing person as an individual and also as a co-worker. She was completely dedicated to the CVB and making people’s visits to the Bangor area amazing. She will be deeply missed.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family,” she said.
Relatives and friends are invited to call from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Brookings-Smith Clark Piper Chapel, 55 S. Main St., Brewer. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at the same location.