Trucker Scott Hewitt was indicted on three felony counts after the Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office presented a grand jury with new information it gathered during its ongoing investigation.

On Friday Hewitt, who is blamed for causing a car accident in July that killed Scarborough resident Tina Turcotte, was indicted on manslaughter, felony OUI, and operating while using or under the influence of a controlled substance resulting in the death of another person. In addition, he also is being charged with nine misdemeanors.

Scarborough resident Pat LaNigra, Turcotte’s mother, said when she was notified about the additional charges last week she was happy.

“It was what we had been waiting for,” she said. “To know justice prevailed, it gives us faith in the justice system.”

Hewitt was driving a truck in late July on Interstate 95 in Hallowell. The accident report from the Maine State Police indicated Turcotte and a tractor-trailer cab in front of her were slowing down because traffic was backed up in front of them. But Hewitt, who was driving a tractor-trailer behind Turcotte, did not slow down and struck her car.

Following the accident, which was initially blamed on Hewitt’s inattentiveness, it was learned that he had a suspended license. In addition, his driving record included some 60 motor vehicle infractions and 22 license suspensions. Hewitt also had previously been involved in another fatal accident.


Kennebec County District Attorney Evert Fowle had initially charged Hewitt with the misdemeanor charges, but at that time stated his office would continue investigating the incident.

The new charges were based on more detailed drug testing from an expert drug testing laboratory. The office also consulted with other experts from around the country regarding those results. Fowle’s office also continued to discuss the matter and soon arrived at a decision.

“From this investigation and research, a consensus emerged suggesting that at the time of the accident, that Scott Hewitt was impaired by marijuana,” Fowle said.

Police found marijuana in the cab of Hewitt’s truck after the accident and tests indicated he had not had any alcohol in his system.

Fowle said there was a clamor to bring more serious charges against Hewitt earlier, but he could not because there was no evidence to support these types of charges.

“We can only go as far as the evidence allows us to go,” he said, adding that he has a stronger case now than he would have had previously.


Fowle said his office spent more time on this case than it normally does for the grand jury, but added that his office pays attention to any case involving any type of fatality or serious injury.

If convicted of the new charges Hewitt could be facing up to 30 years in prison. He remains in jail on $75,00 cash bail or $300,000 in real estate.

LaNigra said she always felt Hewitt should have been charged with manslaughter because he deserved it and learning that the new charges were finally filed was good news.

“We were very happy with the new charges and that he is going to be charged with Tina’s death.”

Turcotte’s death brought a great deal of attention to the dangers of people driving with suspended licenses, not only in Maine, but nationwide.

There is now an effort to tighten the penalties for driving after suspension and legislation called “Tina’s Law” has been submitted to increase penalties for operating after suspension to include jail time.

While LaNigra is happy to see the new laws and the harsher charges against Hewitt, nothing that is done now will help bring her daughter back, she said.

“That accident would have been prevented if the laws were stricter,” she said.

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