A local physician died Thursday after a traffic accident three days earlier in which she was struck by a pickup truck while bicycling near her home in Windsor.

Dr. Carol Eckert was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston by LifeFlight helicopter after the crash, which was reported at 4:49 p.m. Monday.

Kennebec County Sheriff Ryan Reardon said Saturday that the accident occurred at 466 Wingood Road.

He said James Mayo, 20, of Somerville, was driving south on Wingood Road and said the sun was in his eyes. Mayo told the investigator, Sgt. Michael Dutil, that he stopped because he heard a noise and thought he had struck someone.

Reardon said Mayo stopped and saw a bicycle on the shoulder and a woman in the ditch.

Mayo had a front seat passenger, Tabitha Spencer, 19, of Somerville, and two children, including one in a child safety seat, in the backseat of the 2004 GMC Sierra pickup.

Dutil’s report indicated that Mayo started chest compressions on the bicyclist, identified as Eckert by a wallet found nearby, while Spencer called 911.

Reardon said Eckert suffered head injuries and several fractures and was unconscious when rescue personnel arrived.

Eckert had been wearing a helmet.

The accident was reconstructed by Detective Sgt. Scott Mills.

Reardon said it appeared that the pickup’s sideview mirror was pushed into the window as a result of the accident.

Reardon said there was no indication that alcohol or speed were involved and no citations have been issued at this point, but the investigation remains open.

“When you have a death resulting from an accident, we look at the possibility of charges,” Reardon said. “It’s a tragedy, and this deeply affects both families.”

Eckert turned 63 on Thursday, the day she died.

Dr. Roy Miller was partners with Eckert at the Sheepscot Valley Health Center in Coopers Mills, Whitefield, for more than 30 years.

“She helped build the practice,” Miller said via email Saturday. “Carol was a very scientific and careful doctor, the smartest doctor I ever knew. Yet she was also incredibly compassionate and caring. She took as much time as each patient needed and was loved by them all. She also cared about the big picture of medicine, gaining a master’s of public health while practicing full time. She participated in many statewide public health programs. She knew that prevention was the right way to practice medicine.”

According to Eckert’s obituary, in 2013, she became a “float physician” for the 11 health centers operated by HealthReach Network, the parent organization of Sheepscot Valley Health Center.

“After a good day at work at the Lovejoy Health Center in Albion, she pedaled off for a relaxing bike ride but never made it home,” the obituary said.

She was married to Jeffrey Frankel, and they had a grown son and daughter.

Eckert was a 1979 graduate of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York; and her Maine physician’s license indicates a specialty in family practice. She was first licensed in Maine in July 1980.

A memorial celebration for Eckert is scheduled for 2 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Windsor Volunteer Fire Department in Windsor,

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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