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Woman on bike injured after struck by alleged drunk driver

July 2, 2011

WOONSOCKET – A Pawtucket man was charged with drunken driving after the car he was operating allegedly struck a woman riding a bicycle on Bernon Street early Friday morning.
Peter J. Major, 41, of 10 Exchange Court, is charged with duty to stop, an accident resulting with injury, driving while intoxicated involving bodily injury, a first offense, and refusal to submit to a chemical test, police said.
Suzanne Potter, 47, of 347 Grove St., Woonsocket sustained serious injuries in the 1:49 a.m. incident, police said. She was transported by rescue to Landmark Medical Center to be stabilized and then on to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.
Patrolmen David B. Wahl and Mathew Oliver came upon the woman lying face down in the roadway after receiving a report of a “car versus a bicycle” accident in the area, police said.
The impact knocked the victim out of her shoes and left her with a severe injury to her forehead, police said. She was unconscious and bleeding from the head, the police officers reported. A red bicycle was found lying in the road near the victim.
After interviewing witnesses at the scene, east of Grove Street, the patrolmen contacted the police department with a description of a vehicle believed to have left the scene.
Police Dispatcher Pamela Jalette notified other area departments of the vehicle description and Lincoln Police subsequently stopped the black Saab on Route 246 in that community.
Major was identified as the driver of the Saab. Police said he smelled of alcohol and failed field tests for sobriety at the scene. The driver appeared unsteady on his feet while stepping out of a police cruiser during the investigation, Lincoln Police reported.
He was transported to Woonsocket for processing and scheduled for a court hearing on the charges.
The accident remained under investigation Friday and police could not say why the victim was riding the bicycle in the Bernon Street area early in the morning.

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