The man who was at the wheel when a high-speed crash killed a 4-year-old in Casco in August is being held in jail on $20,000 bail, charged with manslaughter.

Michael S. Minson, 28, of Casco was driving a 1993 Honda Civic on Aug. 11 when he lost control on Route 11 and crashed into a utility pole, which sliced the car in two, authorities said. The crash killed Cameron Joseph Petersen and critically injured his mother, Crystal Petersen, 27, of Gray.

Crystal Petersen was in surgery Monday having a bone flap attached to her skull when the Cumberland County grand jury indictment against Minson was announced. She learned about the charge Tuesday morning.

“Thank God,” she said of the grand jury indictment, which came four months after the crash. “As much as that sounds hateful and hurtful, I just lost my son. He loved everybody and everybody loved him. He was 4 years old. He had never done any harm to anybody but he was taken away from us.” Petersen spoke via telephone from a room in the intensive care unit of Central Maine Medical Center.

After the crash, Crystal Petersen spent more than a month at the Lewiston hospital and at one point was in a coma. The crash broke several bones in her face and doctors removed a portion of her brain, which had been injured.

She was unable to attend Cameron’s memorial service, though she was able to view it over a computer link.

After multiple surgeries, she left for a rehabilitation facility to practice walking and to improve her hearing and sight.

“She’s done leaps and bounds, progress they weren’t expecting,” said her mother, Teresa Petersen. Crystal Petersen was home for her son Zachary’s 10th birthday Sunday.

Teresa Petersen was at the hospital with her brother, three friends and Zachary when they heard the news about the charges against Minson. They cheered.

“This is the man who was driving the vehicle that put my daughter where she is right now and took the life of my grandson,” she said.

Crystal Petersen said she has no recollection of the crash and cannot be certain if her memory of putting Cameron in his booster seat and then getting into the car with Minson is from that day or one of the previous days.

Minson was apparently racing to get to work at Dunkin’ Donuts in Naples. He and Petersen had been dating for less than two weeks, family members said, and he had stayed with her the previous few nights.

Minson had never had a license to drive, yet his right to drive still had been suspended at the time of the crash.

Minson had been tailgating one car, had just passed it and was trying to pass another on the inside edge of a curve when he lost control and crashed into the utility pole, severing the car behind the front seats, according to a crash report. The report says he was operating the vehicle in an “erratic, reckless, careless, negligent or aggressive manner” and that he was exceeding the 50-mph speed limit – though it doesn’t say by how much.

Cameron was pronounced dead at the scene when responders discovered his body a short distance from the crash site at the base of some trees.

Minson was already in jail when the indictment was announced. He had been arrested Monday on charges of failing to pay fines.

The grand jury indicted Minson on charges of manslaughter, aggravated assault, driving with a suspended or revoked license with death resulting, and driving with a suspended or revoked license with serious injury resulting.

“He needs to be in jail for a long time,” Crystal Petersen said. “Accidents happen, but my baby died in this one.”