Eric Ray worked as a cook at several N. Conway restaurants
CONWAY — Eric Ray, the North Conway man who was hit by a vehicle driven by a teenage driver on the North-South Road on Monday night, has died, a Maine Medical Center spokesperson said Friday.
At 8:40 p.m. Monday, Conway police officers, along with North Conway Ambulance and North Conway Fire and Rescue, responded to the intersection of Depot Road and the North-South Road in North Conway after getting a 911 call that a pedestrian had been hit.
“When officers arrived on scene, they located a 52-year-old man from North Conway in the roadway just north of the intersection with multiple injuries to his lower extremities and head,” said Police Chief Chris Mattei, who later identified the man as Ray.
Brewster Ambulance took Ray to Memorial Hospital. From there, he was life-flighted to Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine.
Ray was reported in serious condition as of Tuesday afternoon. The Sun checked again on Friday and learned that Ray had died of his injuries.
“Eric Ray is deceased,” said Caroline Cornish, communications and public affairs manager for the hospital, adding she couldn’t share more information.
The driver of the 1998 Toyota Camry that hit Ray was identified as Benjamin Swinchoski, 19, of Wall Township, N.J., who was unhurt by the collision.
A witness who assisted Ray before police arrived said the road in that area was dark.
For the past six or seven years, Ray worked as a cook at Priscilla’s Country Kitchen in North Conway. Priscilla’s co-owner, Ken Donabedian said Ray was a “good soul and a good employee.” He said he did everything “he was asked to do.”
Donabedian said he knew Ray for 40 years and the accident is “very sad.”
Nate Sullivan, Ray’s former boss at the Blueberry Muffin restaurant in North Conway, had high praise for him. “Eric worked for me as kitchen manager at the Blueberry Muffin for 10 years in the early 2000s. He was the nicest guy you ever would want to meet,” said Sullivan.
“His goal and objective was to make you smile — he always had a joke to start the day and a good story at the end of the day, too,” Sullivan recalled, adding, “He and his girlfriend, Tammy Shackford, met while working for me — they just celebrated their 14th anniversary this past spring. It’s just very sad — as I said, he was the nicest guy.”
Mattei on Friday said the case is still under investigation and will be for weeks.
Mattei told the Sun Ray was walking westbound across North-South Road and was in the middle of the travel lane when he was hit. There is a marked pedestrian crosswalk just north of the intersection, and the speed limit on that part of the road is 30 mph.
Town Manager Tom Holmes said he and Mattei are getting complaints about speeders and traffic. “I’m getting calls like that from all over town; East Conway Road intersection, Pleasant Street, West Side Road,” said Holmes. “Traffic is out of control.”
Reporter Tom Eastman and Sun Publisher Mark Guerringue contributed to this article.