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Ridgewood Estates employees recall volunteer killed in pedestrian accident

MADAWASKA, Maine — Administrators and staffers at Ridgewood Estates are expressing support for both women involved in a fatal pedestrian accident in the parking lot on Friday, May 4.

“What happened was a tragic accident that involved two wonderful individuals,” Jackie Roy, owner and administrator for Ridgewood Estates, said in a prepared statement.

Gloria Rouleau, 84, was walking behind a Ford transit vehicle modified for handicap accessibility that was registered to Ridgewood Estates when she was hit by the vehicle as it was backing up Friday afternoon, according to police. The driver, Lisa Pelletier, 49, works for the 52-bed residential care facility and was parking the vehicle after dropping off several residents following a lunch outing.

Rouleau volunteered at the facility for at least 13 years, according to Roy.

Family members described Rouleau in her obituary as “a devout Christian, [who] lived her life by helping others.”

Roy said Rouleau was leaving Ridgewood on Friday afternoon after dropping off jars of holy water for a Mother’s Day service planned at the facility on May 13.

“[Gloria] was respected and appreciated for all the volunteering and work she [did at] our facility,” Roy said. “She will be deeply missed by everyone.”

Jackie Cyr, the facility’s activity coordinator, remembers Rouleau as being like a mother figure to the staff.

“She took care of all of us,” Cyr said. “She was always baking something to bring up here.”

Madawaska Police Chief Ross DuBois said on May 7 that the accident is under investigation, but that he believed “it was a very unfortunate accident.” He said it could be three weeks or longer before results of blood tests, which are taken routinely in fatal cases, and accident reconstruction reports to be completed.

Roy said Pelletier, a maintenance supervisor who has been employed at the facility for 15 years, has been placed on paid leave pending completion of the investigation.

Employees said that Pelletier was distraught over the accident and Roy added that “[Lisa’s] dedication and caring is beyond expectation for all who know her.”

Rouleau’s obituary indicates that a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 15, at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Madawaska. “In keeping with her wishes, there will be no visiting hours,” it states.

Online condolences are being accepted at www.lajoiefuneralhome.com

Follow Morgan Mitchell on Twitter @TheMaineMorgan

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