Belfast city councilor released from hospital after hit-and-run
BELFAST - City Councilor Eric Sanders said Friday night that he felt lucky to be alive after he was reportedly struck from behind by a car while riding his bike on Main Street that afternoon.
Speaking shortly after he was released from Waldo County General Hospital, Sanders said he was knocked unconscious and doesn't remember being hit, only waking up after an ambulance had arrived on the scene. He was returning from a 20-mile bike ride — his first of the season — and was a stone's throw from his home, near Alto Street when he was reportedly struck from behind by a car.
"I don't recall anything. I was hit so hard and fast, I guess," he said.
Sanders said his legs were bruised and bloodied, his left ankle twisted from being locked into the pedal of his bicycle. The right side of his body, he said, felt like "one big muscle pull."
Most signficiantly, Sanders apparently hit his head and said his right ear was nearly torn off, requiring 50 stiches. The injuries have forced him, for the time being, to use a walker along with headgear to protect his ear.
"I'm lucky to be alive," he said. "Whoever called the cops, God bless her. I wouldn't have known what happened. I was out."
Belfast Police Chief Mike McFadden said Saturday morning that 36-year-old Derri Lucas of Knox was arrested Friday evening and charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, operating after suspension and refusing to submit to arrest. Lucas was discovered about four hours after the accident, highly intoxicated, at a Patterson Hill Road residence, where police were called for a report of a domestic disturbance.
As of Friday night, Sanders was counting his blessings.
"I love my family and I love my friends," he said. "I'll be alright. I'm a tough cookie."