Emile Morin, of Augusta, a longtime active member of St. Augustine Catholic Church, had just attended a supper put on by the Knights of Columbus on Saturday when a car hit him as he was crossing Northern Avenue.

An usher at St. Augustine, Morin had gone to the 4 p.m. Mass, where he took up the collection during the church service, according to the Rev. Frank Morin, administrator of St. Michael Catholic Parish. The Rev. Morin, who is not related to Emile Morin, said Morin came to help with the collection every Saturday. After Mass, he went to St. Monica Hall, behind the main church building, for a Knights of Columbus supper. He was leaving there when he was struck and killed crossing the busy street in the city’s Sand Hill neighborhood.

“He was born and bred right on the hill,” the Rev. Morin said of Emile Morin. “He was very much a part of the French Canadian community. He was quiet, not a talkative guy. He was very respectful and very well known, well respected in the community.”

His wife, Gisele, is a Eucharistic minister — a person who helps give out Communion — at St. Augustine. The couple has five adult children.

“It’s people like them that keep things going at the parish,” the Rev. Morin said of the couple.

On Monday, Lt. Chris Read, of the Augusta Police Department, said the causes of the fatal crash were still under investigation. Morin was crossing Northern Avenue shortly after 6 p.m. in the crosswalk near Kendall Street when he was hit by a 2005 Ford Taurus driven by Andrew Bilodeau, 55, of Augusta. Bilodeau suffered no injuries.


After the crash, Bilodeau’s vehicle was towed away for further inspection, and a representative of the Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office went to the scene, which is standard protocol for deadly crashes, another officer, Sgt. Vicente Morris, said Saturday night.

Morris also said Bilodeau is a transient and that he has an active driver’s license.

Northern Avenue was shut down to motor vehicles for a time after the accident.

The weekend crash came amid an upswing in the number of pedestrians who have died on Maine roads annually and, while it hasn’t been entered into the state’s official fatality database, it could tie or even break a 10-year high of pedestrian deaths, said Patrick Adams, the state’s bicycle and pedestrian program manager. That would make 2017 the fifth-deadliest year on record for Maine pedestrians.

Just last week, Adams helped lead a forum discussion on pedestrian safety in Augusta. It was one of a series of workshops the Maine Department of Transportation and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine have been holding around the state to educate citizens about pedestrian safety.

From 2006 to 2014, the number of pedestrians killed in crashes hovered around nine or 11 each year. But that number virtually doubled in 2015, reaching 19, and has remained close to that. In 2016, 17 pedestrians died in crashes, and according to the state’s database, 18 have died so far this year.


Because of the state’s reporting procedures, two reported accidents, including the one on Northern Avenue, still haven’t been registered in that data, but together they could push the yearly total past the 19 recorded in 2015, said Adams. The other possible pedestrian death was the 57-year-old man who body was discovered in Portland last week, and whose death police now are investigating as a hit-and-run.

The most Maine pedestrian deaths, 30, were recorded in 1993. Other particularly deadly years were 1989, when 27 pedestrians died; and both 1990 and 1994, when 22 died.

Yet more fatalities could be in store, Adams warned. In both 2015 and 2016, the total number of Maine pedestrian deaths recorded in the last two months of the year was eight.

“We have some anxiety over what may happen here,” Adams said. “If the data remains consistent, we could likely expect even more before the end of this year.”

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642


Twitter: @ceichacker


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