CONWAY — Police have confirmed the identity of the man who they believe was involved in a possible hit-and-run accident with a bicyclist last month. The man has not been charged with a crime and the investigation is ongoing.
The bicyclist is Paul Nickerson, 41, of Fryeburg, Maine. He was reportedly struck on East Conway Road on Oct. 27. He was taken to Maine Medical Center for treatment and returned home on Sunday.
Nickerson said that the man who hit him is Robert Day, 28, of North Conway.
This was confirmed by Conway Police Lt. Chris Mattei on Tuesday afternoon.
“Robert Day is the individual who has been identified as the driver of the pickup truck that struck Paul Nickerson on East Conway Road on the night of Oct. 27, 2019,” said Mattei. “Robert Day is cooperating with law enforcement at this time and the case remains under investigation.
“The Conway Police Department is working closely with the Carroll County Attorney’s Office to determine what if any charges will be brought forward.”
The Sun reached out to Day by phone but the person hung up after the reporter explained the reason for the call.
In a phone interview Monday evening, Nickerson talked about the accident.
Nickerson said he was struck from behind at about 9:50 p.m. on Oct. 27 An engineering technician at the North Conway Grand Hotel, Nickerson was riding to work on his motorized bike.
He said he is expected to have a 12- to 18-week recovery period from multiple injuries sustained in the accident.
He said he has been told by Conway police that the vehicle in question is believed to have been Day’s 1994 red Ford 150 pickup truck.
Nickerson said Conway Police Sgt. Suzanne Kelley-Scott told him that Day is part-owner of BD Auto Care of East Conway Road, located near the site of the accident, which occurred on a rainy night.
Nickerson sustained a broken vertebrae in his neck and a broken tibia bone in his left leg. He also has three broken ribs and a lacerated liver. He said he had a collapsed lung as well. He underwent an surgery at Maine Medical in the early morning hours after the accident.
“I am looking at 12 to 18 weeks recovery for the neck; I am told my leg will heal sooner,” Nickerson told the Sun.
He said he is on a leave of absence from the North Conway Grand Hotel.
Nickerson said he’s pursuing civil action against Day while he waits for the case to be brought to a Carroll County Superior Court grand jury.
Mattei said there are a number of factors that go into whether to arrest someone immediately or go to Grand Jury. He said that those include the dangerousness of the suspect and whether or not the officer saw the crime take place.
He said grand juries meet once per month and sometimes that’s the best way to get a case moving. The process also provides some direction on what charges, if any, are appropriate.
According to the New Hampshire Judicial Branch website, an indictment is “the formal charge issued by a grand jury stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial; it is used primarily for felonies.”
Grand juries can also return an “information” which is “a formal accusation by a government attorney that the defendant committed a misdemeanor.”
Grand juries might also decide there is not probable cause to believe someone committed an offense.
Nickerson said Kelley-Scott told him some information about the case.
“She gave his name but said he has no insurance and that it is an old vehicle and he is broke, yet he owns the business. The Conway police said that he turned himself in the next morning and that he thought he had hit an animal. I question why was it that he turned himself in the next morning if he thought it had been an animal,” said Nickerson.
Nickerson had car insurance at the time of the accident but no health insurance. He has since applied for health insurance from Maine Care, he said.
“I was extremely independent and self-reliant, and now am an invalid,” said Nickerson in a Facebook message. “With no income and a job that most likely will not be there when I am healed.”
Reporter Tom Eastman contributed to this story.