Otis motorcyclist in critical condition after Sullivan crash

Posted Aug. 31, 2011, at 2:09 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 31, 2011, at 4:54 p.m.

SULLIVAN, Maine — The Otis man who was injured Tuesday in a motorcycle crash with a turning minivan on Route 1 remained in critical condition at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, a hospital official said at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Rickie Sandstrom, 61, initially was taken to Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth after the 3:30 p.m. collision and later flown by LifeFlight helicopter to EMMC.

“He has a lot of serious injuries but he made it through the night,” said his daughter Celeste Sandstrom, who spent Wednesday in the intensive care unit with her father.

“He’s awake” and at around noontime was able to squeeze her hand, she said.

Rickie Sandstrom is a Vietnam veteran who served two tours during the war.

“He’s a fighter and he’s fighting for his life right now,” she said, describing him as “an amazing person.”

Sandstrom, who has about 40 years of motorcycle experience, has nine children between the ages of 17 and 40, his daughter said.

“I’ve been riding with him since I was [age] 4. He’s not just some reckless motorcycle rider,” she said. “He’s a very safe driver.”
Sandstrom was traveling south on his 2002 Harley-Davidson on Tuesday afternoon when his motorcycle and a 2007 Ford Freestyle minivan driven by Amy Grover, 36, of Sullivan collided.

Grover was headed north with a 15-year-old male passenger and was turning into a driveway on the west side of the road when the collision happened. Grover and her passenger were not injured.

Police initially reported Tuesday night that Sandstrom had died as a result of his injuries, but informed the BDN on Wednesday morning that he survived and remained hospitalized.

Celeste Sandstrom said the family received numerous calls from upset relatives and friends early Wednesday about the initial report. The calls from people who thought he was dead were hard to handle, she said, especially since “we’re all there trying to be strong for him.”

“He does have a lot of people who care about him,” she said. “That’s a good thing.”

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