Knox County’s district attorney said Thursday that he decided not to seek charges against the driver of the car that killed a 9-year-old boy and injured several people last summer at the ferry dock in Port Clyde because he doesn’t have evidence to prosecute the driver for any criminal offense.

District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau disclosed the reasons for his decision in a four-page written report nearly a week after he met with the family of 9-year-old Dylan Gold of Cohasset, Mass., who was killed on Aug. 11, and Jonathan Coggeshall, 68, of Port Clyde, who was seriously injured.

Investigators did a detailed inspection of the driver’s 2007 Infiniti sedan, conducted multiple interviews with witnesses and completed accident reconstruction calculations but still “do not have a conclusive reason as to why Cheryl Torgerson accelerated her vehicle onto the Monhegan Boat Lines pier,” the report says.

“The decision has been discussed with Mr. and Mrs. Gold and with Mr. Coggeshall. We understand their disappointment,” Rushlau said in the report. “The Golds have suffered a devastating loss. Mrs. Gold and Mr. Coggeshall were severely injured and after six months have not fully recovered. Were there sufficient evidence to show that Cheryl Torgerson is criminally responsible for Dylan’s death and for severe injuries to Allison Gold and Jonathan Coggeshall, a case would be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible. At this time, there is not that level of evidence.”

Rushlau said in the report that Torgerson was on her way to catch the 3 p.m. ferry from Port Clyde to Monhegan Island when she arrived at the terminal lot at 2:30 p.m., stopped briefly and then accelerated inexplicably.

Torgerson’s car hit a 2012 Honda that had stopped in front of her and pushed it out of the way, then hit a corner of the ferry terminal before hitting Coggeshall, who was standing alongside the building. The car continued to accelerate past the building, first hitting six parked cars, then Allison Gold, 51, and her two sons, Dylan and Wyatt Gold, 6.


Wyatt was thrown between two parked cars; Dylan landed on the ground and was run over.

When Torgerson’s car finally stopped, Allison Gold was pinned between it and a parked car. Dylan Gold died on the way to the hospital.

Torgerson, 61, of New York City, told police in her written statement that the accelerator of her car had “jammed,” but investigators who examined her car found no evidence of any defect.

The car’s airbag system recorded data from seven seconds before the airbag deployed until six seconds afterward. The data showed that in the first several seconds, the car’s brakes were on and the throttle was partially depressed, 33 percent or less.

Then, four seconds before the airbag deployed, the throttle pedal position shifted to 100 percent and the brake pedal went from on to off, according to Rushlau’s report.

The throttle remained at 100 percent for all but one second of the recorded time after the airbag deployed.


The car slowed briefly to 17 mph from the impact of hitting the ferry terminal, when the airbag likely deployed, then accelerated to 32 mph as it hit Coggeshall, a series of vehicles and then the Gold family, the report says.

The car had an electronic override system, so that if Torgerson had pressed the brake pedal, “the vehicle will not accelerate even with the throttle pedal depressed,” according to the report.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

Twitter: @scottddolan

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