October 3, 2013

New development possible in Port Clyde fatal crash

The car that fatally struck a boy on the ferry dock may have been spotted speeding in Waldoboro an hour earlier.

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Police say that a car matching the description of the one involved in a deadly crash at the Port Clyde ferry dock this summer was spotted speeding through Waldoboro less than an hour before the crash.

This photo, taken by a witness after the crash this summer in Port Clyde, shows the dark Infiniti police said was driven by Cheryl Torgerson, 61, of New York City.

Photo by Dick Nixon

Waldoboro police on Tuesday confirmed that the Lincoln County dispatch center received a report of a driver speeding and passing cars on the right on U.S. Route 1 in Waldoboro at 1:47 p.m. The car was described as a black Infiniti with a gold license plate, Waldoboro Police Chief William Labombarde said.

The car involved in the Monhegan ferry landing crash was a dark blue 2007 Infiniti with New York license plates, which most often are predominantly yellow.

District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau, who will make a decision about whether to bring charges in the case, would not say whether police suspect the speeding car is the same one that hit and killed the 9-year-old boy.

Rushlau said late Tuesday he has no timetable for making a decision in the case and that often in complex investigations, police reports need to be followed up on with additional investigation.

The possible link between the reported speeder and the car involved in the crash was first reported by the Bangor Daily News.

Cheryl Torgerson, 61, of New York City was driving her Infiniti Aug. 11 when it crashed into several people, cars and a building on the pier. The crash happened 24 minutes before the scheduled departure of the ferry to Monhegan Island.

The car was slowing to turn onto the pier, where a parking area is located, when it suddenly accelerated, according to a preliminary accident report by Knox County Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Spear.

Torgerson told police she did not know why the car accelerated.

Torgerson’s car hit a 2012 Honda that had stopped in front of her and pushed it out of the way, then hit the corner of a building before hitting Jonathan Coggeshall, 68, of Port Clyde, who was standing alongside the building.

The car continued to accelerate past the building, first hitting six parked cars, then three people walking on the dock. The car knocked Wyatt Gold, 6, and Dylan Gold, 9, of Cohasset, Mass., into the air. Wyatt was thrown between two parked cars, but Dylan landed on the ground and was run over, the report said.

When Torgerson’s car finally stopped, the boys’ mother, Allison Gold, 50, was pinned between it and a parked car.

Dylan Gold died on the way to the hospital.

Torgerson was not injured.

Labombarde said his officers were unable to respond immediately to the report of the speeding car. One of his officers already had pulled over an erratic driver.

“When that car got called in, it was in Waldoboro and it was continuing north toward Rockland,” Labombarde said. It is about six miles from the Nobleboro town line on one side of Waldoboro to the Warren town line on the other.

A few minutes after the report, a serious crash happened on Route 1 between Route 235 and Manktown Road. Labombarde said the crash was due to driver inattention and had nothing to do with the speeding Infiniti.

Authorities shut down Route 1 there, detouring traffic, he said, but added that the dark Infiniti may have gotten through before the road was shut down by cuting through an adjacent parking lot.

The Bangor Daily News reported that following the detour on Routes 235 and 131 would make the trip to Port Clyde take about an hour compared to 45 minutes on Route 1.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:dhench@mainetoday.com

Twitter: @Mainehenchman

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