Woman recounts hitting moose, witnessing hit-and-run in South Portland

Woman recounts hitting moose, witnessing hit-and-run

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A woman from Windham was injured by a hit-and-run driver Monday night in South Portland when she stopped to check on another motorist whose vehicle had collided with a moose, police told the Portland Press Herald.

NEWS CENTER spoke with the motorist whose vehicle collided with the moose. Michele McDonald said she feels grateful the woman stopped to help her, yet awful she was hurt as a result.

"It's so irresponsible to hit someone and not stop," McDonald said. "That really bothers me."

McDonald was on her commute back from work just after 7:30 p.m. when she hit the moose. Uninjured, she was hesitant to call 911 since it wasn't an emergency, though she did consider calling animal control.

A fellow motorist who witnessed the accident pulled over and came back to check on her. McDonald said she couldn't get her window down, so she opened her door, and that's when "a car, or truck, or something big, was speeding really fast and hit [her] car door very hard."

McDonald said the woman who had come to check on her was behind the door and was hit. She said the woman ended up on the road on the other side of her car.

McDonald, a photo editor at the Portland Press Herald, said the car never stopped. "That was the terrible part," she said.

According to McDonald, the woman who was hit was taken to the hospital with possible damage to an artery in her neck.

"She's in good spirits, her husband told me this morning," McDonald said Tuesday. "I hope she's OK. She was great, she was wonderful."

An email from officials at Greater Portland Christian School in South Portland identified the injured woman as the school's office manager Stephanie Smith, known by students as the "School Mom." They said Smith is "doing well but is under care at the hospital," and will be out "several days."

The school provided a link to a GoFundMe, which they said has been set up by a family friend.

Police told the Press Herald they were unable to locate the moose, which may have fled into a nearby wooded area.

McDonald said this was the first time she's ever hit a moose. "Certainly didn't expect to hit one in South Portland," she said.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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