Thursday, October 17, 2002

Woman dies in motorcycle accident

Published in the Current; co-written with Kate Irish Collins

Elaine Mitchell, 41, of Scarborough was laid to rest Tuesday morning after being killed in a motorcycle accident on Pleasant Hill Road on Friday, Oct. 11.

She was a passenger on a motorcycle driven by her longtime companion, James Goode, 45, of Scarborough when the vehicle collided with a deer at
5:48 p.m. Both were treated at the scene and taken to Maine Medical Center, where Mitchell was later pronounced dead.

Goode was treated for what Scarborough police called “non-life-threatening injuries.”

Neither were wearing helmets, according to Sgt. Greg Bedor. He said about half of the people he sees on motorcycles are wearing helmets. The rest, he said, “take their chances.”

Mitchell leaves behind a daughter, Brianna, a junior at Scarborough High School, and a large family of brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews. She was remembered Tuesday for having a great love of life, including spending time with her daughter and traveling to the Caribbean.

Mitchell’s death was called “a sad and dreadful nightmare” by Father James Morrison, who officiated at the funeral held at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church in Scarborough. “Though we might want to, we cannot turn the clock back,” he added.

Father Morrison also had special words for Brianna, who was accompanied to the service by friends and teachers. He told her to think long and hard about the one thing of her mother’s she might want to keep - something that would stay with her always. “Try to hold on to that one thing that says who your mother was,” Father Morrison said.

He also urged Mitchell’s family not to think about the “what if.”

“You are all wondering why did this happen and could it have been prevented? Was there anything that could have been done at the scene afterward that would have saved Elaine’s life? And the answer is ‘no.’ Everyone did the best that they could,” Father Morrison said.

Father Morrison also told Mitchell’s family, friends, and coworkers that no one has the answers, but they could offer each other a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on and words of gentle mercy and hope. “Soon the joy and the laughter will come back and the stories and memories you have of Elaine will have warmth and meaning again,” he said.

For the past five years, Mitchell, who was born in Van Buren, held the position of Human Resources Manager at Nordx Laboratories.

Those wishing to honor Mitchell’s memory are asked to make donations in her name to the Scarborough Rescue, c/o Anthony Attardo at 246 U.S. Route 1, Scarborough or to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center, 22 Bramhall Street, Portland.