Belfast teen dies following Sunday Route 1 accident
BELFAST — A Belfast teen died today, Aug. 7, following a collision Sunday when a motorist struck the bicycle she was riding, according to Belfast Police Chief Michael McFadden.
The teen, identified as Laila Al-Matrouk, 16, of Belfast, was struck by the vehicle around 2:30 p.m. and was initially taken to Waldo County General Hospital by ambulance before being transferred to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor by LifeFlight of Maine.
Laila Al-Matrouk was reportedly leaving her home on Searsport Avenue, near the Belfast/Searsport town line, at the time of the accident, according to police.
McFadden said the accident occurred when Al-Matrouk rode out of her driveway and attempted to turn left onto Route 1.
The driver of an oncoming vehicle, Roberta Tibbetts, 69, attempted to avoid her but was unable to do so, McFadden said. The speed limit on that section of Route 1 is 55 mph.
Al-Matrouk was a student at Belfast Area High School with Superintendent Mary Alice McLean calling her “one of [RSU 71’s] very brightest lights.”
The Troy Howard Middle School will be open tomorrow, Aug. 8, from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. and will have nurses, counselors, and administrators “on hand to help grieving students, staff, and community members,” according to McLean.
A candlelight gathering is being planned for Saturday, Aug. 11 in Belfast City Park. The time has yet to be announced.
The accident remains under investigation by Belfast Police.
Erica Thoms can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org