WATERVILLE — Diane Whalen’s 65th birthday Thursday started with a motorcycle trip to Belfast with her husband, sister and brother-in-law on a beautiful early fall day.

It ended with her and her husband, Michael Whalen, being taken to the hospital for injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident on College Avenue.

“It’s not a very good birthday, but what can you do?” said Glenn Whalen, Michael Whalen’s brother, at the scene. “We’re just hoping they are OK. The bikes are fixable.” Both couples are from Fairfield.

Michael and Diane Whalen were taken to MaineGeneral’s Thayer Center for Health in Waterville by ambulance after the accident. Their conditions weren’t available Thursday night.

The accident happened about a half-mile south of the site of an accident in August in which a Fairfield motorcyclist died.

Glenn Whalen said Thursday night that he was driving north on College Avenue on a three-wheeled motorcycle with his wife, Sandra, as a passenger, in front of Diane and Michael Whalen, also on a three-wheeled cycle, shortly before 5 p.m.

Glenn Whalen said he stopped for a car that was turning in front of him and was rear-ended by his brother. The couples — the men are brothers and the women are sisters — were on their way home from a day of shopping in Belfast on his sister-in-law Diane’s 65th birthday.

“I don’t know if he didn’t see me or what happened,” said Whalen, 67, “but he ran into the back of us and their bike spun around and they fell to the ground.”

Sandra Whalen was thrown from her husband’s bike and was treated at the scene for a minor head injury.

Waterville police Sgt. Brian Gardiner said he wasn’t sure how serious the injuries were to the pair taken to the hospital. He said the accident will not result in charges.

Glenn Whalen said, “They were both coherent, so that’s good.”

He said the couples were traveling about 25 mph, but he was the only one wearing a helmet.

The Waterville Fire Department and Delta Ambulance also responded to the accident.

On Aug. 28, James Bolduc, of Fairfield, was riding a Harley-Davidson north on College Avenue when he ran into the rear of a Jeep that had stopped because of an SUV backing out of Cottage Street. Bolduc, who was not wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead that afternoon.

Police said last week that accident is still under investigation.

There has been a spike in motorcycle accidents this year, and 28 of those have been fatal, a 24-year high. Riders and police speculated in a Portland Press Herald article last week that the good weather is partly to blame.

“Primarily, it’s the length of the riding season this year,” said Paul Blouin, owner of Paul Blouin Performance in Augusta. “We’ve actually had a very strong summertime. We haven’t had rain.” Last year’s rain in July and August meant fewer riders on the road, the article said.

Statistics provided by the Department of Public Safety cited in the article showed that at least 19 of the people killed this year were not wearing helmets.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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