A Skowhegan man has been indicted by a Cumberland County grand jury on criminal charges related to an automobile crash on the Maine Turnpike in June that killed a Fairfield man.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Derek Knowles, 35, of North Avenue, Skowehgan, in the June 13 death of Anthony VanDyck, 40. Knowles was driving a Land Rover SUV belonging to VanDyck when he apparently lost control on the highway in New Gloucester.

VanDyck, of Fairfield, was a passenger in the northbound SUV. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected through the sunroof and pronounced dead at the scene.

Knowles was indicted on a charge of operating after license revocation, a Class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, and a charge of causing death while his license was suspended or revoked, a Class B felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The indictment notes that Knowles has two convictions for operating after habitual offender revocation.

Knowles also was convicted of operating under the influence in September 2008 and again in July 2005, both in Somerset County, according to court documents.

Knowles had a suspended driver’s license because of failure to pay several fines related to OUI and operating after revocation convictions. He was arrested on a warrant for failure to pay fines. The arrest came after he was released from Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, where he was treated for minor injuries, and then taken to the Androscoggin County Jail.

Knowles later was released and a new arrest warrant was issued on Tuesday. Cash bail in the amount of $10,000 will be imposed on Knowles once he is taken into custody.

It isn’t immediately known when he will appear in court or whether he has a lawyer.

Knowles has a criminal history dating back to a 1999 conviction for two counts of theft and convictions of theft and motor vehicle burglary in 2000, according to Somerset County District Court records.

He has convictions for operating without a license, operating after revocation, criminal trespassing, violating protective order, trafficking tobacco in an adult correctional facility and domestic violence assault.

After the 2008 convictions for OUI and operating after revocation, Knowles violated probation and failed to make payments on his fines several times. He is still working to pay a more than $2,000 fine related to those two charges, according to court records.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.