A woman who lost both of her legs below the thigh after being hit by a car in a parking lot accident last week never lost consciousness during the horrific accident and its aftermath, her son said.

Almost a week later, Mary “Terri” Anthoine is headed to a rehabilitation hospital while her family raises money to make her ranch home wheelchair-accessible.

“Honestly, she’s an amazing woman,” said her son, Brad Anthoine, who lives with her in Portland. “She’s very strong. She’s in great spirits. She’s sitting up in bed and cracking jokes.”

Mary Anthoine, 60, was injured Dec. 13, when she was running a simple errand – picking up some dry cleaning at Pratt-Abbot on Forest Avenue. As she pulled into the parking lot and parked her car, she noticed a driver having some kind of trouble parking his car.

“This gentleman was having a hard time parking. She saw him from her rear view mirror, (thinking) like, ‘What’s this guy doing? He’s parked all crooked,’ ” her son said, relating what his mother told him about the accident.

Terri Anthoine got out of her car and was walking around the rear of her car when the driver suddenly accelerated and hit her, pinning her between their cars, Brad Anthoine said.

“She was facing the front of his vehicle and he didn’t – he was in shock – he didn’t really hit the brake. He kept going. It severed her legs right there,” her son said. She stayed conscious, he said, adding “she’s glad, and I’m glad. No one wants to wake up and find out they’ve lost their legs. She knew what happened. It was a freak accident, in a matter of seconds. She couldn’t react.”

He said quick action by a Maine Medical Center nurse who was driving by on Forest Avenue and a Portland police officer probably saved his mother’s life. They immediately applied tourniquets to her legs until an ambulance arrived. Brad Anthoine declined to identify the two without getting their permission first, but said they had stopped by his mother’s hospital room to talk to her.

Anthoine said the nurse was driving home from her shift at the hospital and noticed the commotion in the Pratt-Abbott parking lot and pulled over.

“The nurse, she said she’s seen things like this before, but the officer had never really seen something like this,” Anthoine said. “He was relieved to see her in the state she’s in now, doing well.”

He said his mother was not available for interviews Tuesday.

Portland spokeswoman Jessica Grondin would not identify the officer Tuesday, saying there is an active investigation. A spokeswoman at Maine Medical Center wasn’t able to identify the nurse Tuesday.

The driver, 82-year-old Robert Carson of Portland, was driving on a suspended license. The SUV he was driving, a 2011 Toyota Highlander, was not registered or inspected.

Carson has been charged with operating after suspension, driving an unregistered motor vehicle and driving a motor vehicle without a valid certificate of inspection. A public copy of his driving record in Maine indicates his license had been suspended in November 2016, and includes a notation that says: “failure to complete a road and/or written evaluation.”

Terri Anthoine is a legal assistant at Preti Flaherty, where she has worked for more than 40 years.

A family GoFundMe page for her had raised more than $25,000 by late Tuesday.

“Her recovery will be an extremely long and expensive road. She is going to need so many things, but a few are; house remodel to become wheelchair accessible, vehicle modifications, and eventually being fitted for prosthetics so she can continue living her life the way she did before the accident,” her daughter, Danielle Anthoine wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Our Mom is the strongest person in the world. She didn’t deserve this traumatic, life-altering incident, but she is ready to conquer it one step at a time with her huge family and large group of friends by her side.”

Terri Anthoine spends much of her free time with family, her son said, shopping and antiquing with her sister on weekends, and playing in a bowling league at Bayside Bowl with him.

“That was kind of her thing,” he said of her Preti Flaherty bowling team. On weekends, “she loved going to local events, a brew festival, yard sales – just hitting the road and making a day of it.”

Brad Anthoine said the family would be seeking some form of compensation from the driver, noting that he had car insurance.

According to a police accident report, the driver “stated that he attempted to press the brake and hit the gas instead,” striking Anthoine. Anthoine was parked in the first parking space facing Forest Avenue, to the immediate right of the parking lot exit onto Forest Avenue.

Noel K. Gallagher can be contacted at 791-6387 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: noelinmaine

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