NORRIDGEWOCK — Saturday, May 11, started out well for Michael and Lesley Adams, as they set off on a motorcycle ride with a group of friends through central Maine.

Michael, riding for only the second time on his 2019 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, suggested that the group take the long way home with a stop in New Sharon.

The ride ended at 4:10 p.m., when a Jay man crossed the center line on Route 4 in Turner and struck two of the motorcycles, seriously injuring Michael.

“Mike usually led the group,” his wife, Lesley Adams, said. “There was no time to react. He couldn’t get the inertia to get around the vehicle that was coming at him.”

Describing the scene that unfolded in front of her, Lesley said, “It happened in slow motion.” She saw her husband get ejected from his bike and land on the ground as his bike went in the opposite direction.

Michael sustained two broken femurs, a shattered elbow, a broken ulna, a dislocated shoulder, a fractured eye socket and face fractures. Swelling in his brain and face required having part of his skull removed and his jaw wired shut. He was in a coma for 32 days after the accident.

A nurse passing through the area stopped at the scene of the accident to help, directing Tim Clements, one of the motorcyclists traveling with the Adams, to use his belt as a tourniquet.

“He would have done it for me,” Clements said.

A local EMT near the scene of the accident helped to stabilize Michael’s neck while he directed LifeFlight to transport him.

Mike Adams is joined by his wife, Lesley, and their dog, Rowdy, on Wednesday in Norridgewock. It was his first day home after seven months in hospitals recovering from injuries sustained in a May 11 motorcycle crash in Turner.

The driver who hit them, Jacob Carlton, of Jay, was found to have cocaine and opioids in his system at the time of the crash, according to an article in the Sun Journal. He was charged with six felonies, including two counts of aggravated assault, two charges of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and two charges of driving to endanger. Carlton pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Michael Adams received care at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. He was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston for surgeries to prevent spinal fluid from coming out of his nose and to put his skull back together.

Nearly seven months later, the couple returned home to Lesley’s mother’s house in Norridgewock from the hospital on Wednesday with an escort of friends, family and law enforcement arranged by Donna Churchill, Lesley’s sister-in-law.

“We had planned the escort way back when the accident first happened,” Churchill said. “We had no idea that he was going to be there for so long, and at the time that we were planning, we didn’t know how bad his injuries were.”

“It was emotional (seeing Michael),” Churchill said. “He had a huge smile that did not go away for hours. That smile never left his face.”

The group congregated at Kmart in Waterville, toting signs and smiles welcoming Michael home. The group traveled to Norridgewock together and received an escort through downtown from Somerset County police officers.

“It was awesome to see everybody come out,” Clements said. “We’ve been waiting for seven months for one of our buddies to get out of the hospital. To see him pull up with the smile on his face, it was just great.”

Clements commended Michael, saying that he’s remained optimistic during his entire recovery.

“He’s been in good spirits his whole life,” Clements said.

 

FINDING A NEW NORMAL

“We are shifting back to normalcy as well as it could possibly go,” Michael, now 54, said. “I’m just rolling with the punches.”

The couple had to relocate to Lesley’s mother’s home because their house in Skowhegan was not wheelchair accessible for Michael, who lost his right leg from the knee-down and is learning to use a walker. He hasa  prosthetic leg and hopes to eventually walk by himself or with the assistance of a cane.

The couple is also working on making arrangements with MaineGeneral for at-home care.

Through all of this, Michael remains optimistic about the road ahead.

“I don’t really have a choice,” he said. “I can either be negative Nelly or positive Paul, and I have definitely decided to stay positive.”

The couple is selling their Skowhegan home and hope to be able to find a new home in the spring. They both know that they want to continue living in the Skowhegan and Norridgewock area.

Churchill says that though the family will need time to adjust to a new way of life, it has the support of the entire community. Local businesses participated in fundraisers throughout the summer to benefit Michael’s recovery. Their son Nick arranged a GoFundMe campaign that’s raised almost $19,000 to help with medical expenses.

“I know that they want to make sure that everybody that has helped them during these last seven months knows how much they are appreciated,” Churchill said. “They are so loved for what they did for our family.”

Lesley is thankful for Michael’s continued recovery and for all of the support their family has received from the community, law enforcement, family, friends and the hospital staff.

“I am so glad that he is alive and with us to be my husband, a father to his children and a pappy to his grandchildren. We can’t thank the community enough for all of their care and concern.”

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.