CANAAN — A Canaan woman who was injured badly in an automobile accident in March on Route 23 in Clinton has died of her injuries.

Debby Beckwith-Noonan, 59, died Sunday at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, where she was in the rehabilitation unit ready to go home, a friend, Kathleen Perelka, of Canaan, said Tuesday.

Noonan suffered broken bones and collapsed lungs in the accident and died of a heart attack brought on by the stress of her injuries, Perelka said. Both women were members of the Canaan Farmers Hall in the former Grange building on U.S. Route 2.

“She was one tough woman to have lasted as long as she did,” Perelka said. “In the end, her heart gave way, but her death was a direct result of the car collision on March 8. She will leave a big hole in our community, Canaan and beyond.”

Noonan was a well-known wild game cook who shared her stories and recipes in Trapper’s Post, an outdoors magazine published and edited by writer and trapper Bob Noonan, her husband. She also was a tireless volunteer with Canaan Farmers Hall, a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring the historic Grange building and re-establishing it as a center for community events with public suppers, contra dances, art shows and children’s programs.

“We thought she was going to be coming home by the middle of July,” Perelka said. “She had so many broken bones and ultimately died of a heart attack in the very end … there was so much strain on her heart.”

Trooper Rick Moody, of the Maine State Police, said Noonan was driving north about 3:30 p.m. March 8 in a 2010 Toyota Prius on Route 23 when she crossed the centerline and hit another car driven south by 50-year-old Bruce Hallee, of Clinton. The vehicles collided head-on.

First responders used a hydraulic extrication tool to cut Noonan out of her car. She suffered a broken leg and a broken neck, Moody said.

Hallee was able to get out of his 2003 Chevy Trail Blazer by himself. Both drivers were taken to the hospital with broken bones, and both vehicles were destroyed.

Police say they aren’t sure why Noonan crossed the line. No charges will be brought in the case.

Perelka said Noonan and her husband accumulated friends wherever they went. She was born and raised in Canaan and was one of the original people who were “trying to recapture the (Grange) building to save it for the town.

“She was instrumental in that, scrubbing the walls, planning events with just incredible energy and enthusiasm. She was just one of those people who was great to be around.”

Perelka said she was a devoted mother, grandmother and wife. She was a down-to-earth hunter, trapper and cook, she said.

“We’ll miss her. I don’t know what we’ll do without her,” Perelka said.

Perelka said there will be visiting hours Friday night and a service on Saturday, but advised friends to check Noonan’s obituary for places and times. Friends and relatives will gather at the Masons Hall on Oak Pond Road after the service on Saturday. Canaan Farmers Hall members are asked to help with the catering, hall setup and cleanup Saturday.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

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Twitter: @Doug_Harlow