Bittersweet Finish For “Trek Across Maine” Bikers After Cyclist’s Death

Caitlin Burchill

Updated 10 months ago

It was a bittersweet finish for bikers in Belfast on Sunday. David LeClair from Watertown, Massachusetts was killed Friday during the first leg of “Trek Across Maine,” a 180 mile, three day biking fundraiser for the American Lung Association.State Police say the 23-year-old was killed when he was struck by a tractor trailer on Rt. 2 in Hanover.LeClair’s teammates crossed the finish line with heavy hearts.”This is my first trek and eleven miles in is when the accident happened. It took the wind out of everybody’s sails originally, but I guess everybody rallied around it and the rest of the trek, the rest of the 160 miles were for David LeClair,” said Eric Johnson who works for Athena Health in Belfast. Johnson did not work directly with LeClair, but their departments interacted. 23-year-old LeClair rode with Team Athena Health. He worked at their Watertown, Massachusetts office. “It was a tragic day for us. Very heartbreaking on Friday to lose David LeClair and we continue to offer our sympathy to his family and his coworkers and friends. It was with heavy hearts that we continued,” said Jeff Seyler, CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. LeClair was a 2011 graduate of Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. This is the second death that has rocked the school over the past month. A 19-year-old basketball player died unexpectedly. He died after collapsing while playing pickup basketball. The school community says LeClair made a huge impact on the community. “I knew David. I did not know David as well as I probably would have liked to and in the past two days I have learned more about this incredible human being and just what he meant to people and that he was probably one of the most caring individuals in the world. We’re going to miss him terribly,” said David Tassoni, Senior Vice President of Operations for Athena Health. Bikers and spectators wore red as a sign of remembrance. “The part that probably amazed me the most was the people that were closest to him who just made the decision immediately to press on. And they were sort of our inspiration. They were the ones that carried us through every moment. They were the ones that led us in here to Belfast (on Sunday),” said Tassoni. “Definitely bitter sweet, but I’m glad I stuck it out. I plan to do the trek now for as long as I’m physically capable and I’m going to keep him in my memories for here on in,” said Johnson. Police did question the driver of a tractor trailer after the accident.They believe he was unaware his truck might have hit LeClair.As of now, no charges have been filed.


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