Cyclist injured in Mattapoisett crash released from hospital, recovering at home

Nov 16, 2021

MATTAPOISETT — After spending more than a week in the hospital due to injuries sustained in an Oct. 31 crash in Mattapoisett, Judi St. Hilaire, the wife of Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan and a former Olympic runner, returned home Nov. 8.

St. Hilaire, 62, was doing a 60-mile ride with the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen when she was struck by a vehicle. She suffered 12 broken ribs, two broken collarbones and punctured lungs.

Although St. Hilaire is still recovering, a representative from the mayor’s office said she is doing well. 

“She’s in stable condition,” the spokesperson said. “She’s been home for around a week now and has been making steady progress. It’s going to be a long road to recovery but she is making progress every day.”

St. Hilaire was treated at St. Luke’s Hospital and spent several days in the intensive care unit. Coogan — who shared regular updates about his wife’s recovery on social media — reported that she underwent surgery on Nov. 4 to treat her broken collar bones. 

“I could tell the surgery went well when she called me right after and requested that I get her some pecan sandies from New Boston Bakery,” Coogan said.

At the time, she was still in the ICU, but she was moved into a regular room on Nov. 6

On Nov. 8, Coogan shared what he said might be “the last update post” about his wife’s recovery. 

“Today Judi left the hospital and came home,” he wrote. “She is still going to have a long recovery and healing process but she feels a little bit better every day. Your prayers must’ve worked because Judi left the hospital much sooner than anyone thought. Thank you everyone for all the support you’ve shown us over the last week.”

St. Hilaire is a former middle and long-distance runner. She won a silver medal at the 1985 World 15km Road Race Championship and finished eighth in the 10,000 meters final at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

She won the 1980 U.S. 10,000m title and the 1983 U.S. 5,000m title.

Just hours after the crash, Coogan emphasized St. Hilaire’s love of cycling. 

“She still loves to bike and will be back to riding after plenty of recovery and rehab,” he said.

The crash in which St. Hilaire was injured is still under investigation by Mattapoisett Police. Two other cyclists were also struck but were not injured, according to neighbors who witnessed the crash. 

The police department declined to provide further information about the investigation.