A Hollis man has been indicted on one count of manslaughter nearly 10 months after he was in a crash that killed a 47-year-old motorcyclist in Gorham.

Ernest Dubeau, 39, was indicted in June on charges of manslaughter, aggravated driving to endanger, aggravated criminal mischief, operating a motor vehicle beyond class restrictions and violating conditions of release. He’s scheduled to be arraigned and enter a plea on July 26.

Dubeau was driving a pickup truck towing a trailer westbound on Route 22 just before 8 a.m. on Sept. 15, 2022, when he turned left onto Hodgdon Road in Gorham, crossing into the path of Richard Bernard, who was heading eastbound, police said.

Bernard crashed into Dubeau’s truck and was thrown from his motorcycle. Dubeau told police he wasn’t aware he hit someone until he heard a loud bang, stopped and got out to see Bernard’s bike in the road. Another driver found Bernard pinned under Dubeau’s trailer, according to the accident report.

Dubeau told police that he checked for oncoming traffic but didn’t see Bernard, the report says.

Bernard was pronounced dead at the scene. A crash reconstructionist determined that the crash occurred because Dubeau turned in front of Bernard and did not giving him enough time to react.


Bernard was not wearing a helmet. Had he been, the reconstructionist wrote that he could have “possibly suffered minor injuries.” Dubeau’s pickup was improperly registered, not inspected and overweight, meaning it “should not have been legally allowed to be operated on a public way,” the report states.

Bernard’s wife hopes drivers will be mindful of motorcycles and that more riders will wear helmets.

“People need to pay more attention,” Katie Bernard said in an interview Monday. “You see a lot of tragic accidents from people being hit.”

Dubeau told police at the time that he was not impaired by alcohol or any other substances. He showed them a prescription for Suboxone, a medication used to help combat opioid addiction. State police did find evidence of etizolam, a drug that’s used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders but isn’t listed as a controlled substance in the United States. Tests also showed his blood alcohol level was less than 0.01%.

Dubeau was participating in a diversion program at the time of the crash. Roughly four months earlier, he had entered a plea agreement with the Cumberland County District Attorney’s office for two misdemeanor-level drug possession charges. Prosecutors had agreed to put off sentencing for a year, court documents show. Now it appears prosecutors are terminating the agreement because of the new charges and Dubeau’s failure to notify prosecutors within four days of the crash.

According to court records, it appears Dubeau is not in custody. Attempts to reach Dubeau and his court-appointed attorney were unsuccessful Monday.



Katie Bernard and Richard “Ricky” Bernard had been in a relationship since 2010. She remembered her husband as a “kind-hearted, hard-working” man who was good to his family.

She said she has heard little to nothing from law enforcement and the district attorney’s office since her husband’s death, which she learned about from her sister-in-law. About a month ago, someone from the district attorney’s office notified her that they were pursuing charges and waiting on an indictment, she said.

She hopes the district attorney’s office will push for restitution. While she and her children are grieving their loss, they’ve had to move to a different home because they couldn’t afford the house they were living in without Bernard, who was a mechanic.

He was on his way to work the morning he died and had only recently started riding the bike, she said.

“It’s been a journey without him,” she said. She still takes the kids to his gravesite in Sanford every couple of weeks.



Dubeau had just finished picking up ice and food from a Cumberland Farms and was heading to a roofing worksite in Scarborough. The road was dry and well-lit by the time he reached the Hodgdon Road intersection, police reports state. Dubeau was well-rested, he later told police, having gone to bed around 10 p.m. the night before, waking up at 6 a.m. for work.

He had a couple of hard seltzers an hour before bed but didn’t feel like they were still affecting him the following morning, the crash report states. Officers who responded to the crash noted Dubeau was distraught and crying.

“He said he just did not even see the motorcycle at all,” Gorham Police Officer Stephen Hinkley said. “He says he drives a motorcycle as well and tries to be very cautious when driving around them.”

A Maine Medical Center nurse heading home to Buxton said she was driving behind Dubeau for several miles. She said his trailer was “filled with ladders” and noticed the pickup swerving “multiple times,” often crossing the center line, according to her statement.

She saw Bernard riding his motorcycle when Dubeau reached the intersection and watched as Dubeau looked back and took a hard left.


As Dubeau got out of his truck, she pulled up and noticed Bernard was trapped under the trailer. By the time she had retrieved a pair of gloves from her car and called 911, Bernard’s pulse was already weak and he was bleeding heavily.

Another witness, who was already at the intersection when Dubeau arrived, said she noticed Bernard before the crash and saw Dubeau’s truck turn. She watched Bernard try to swerve, but the vehicles were too close and Bernard’s bike hit the right front quarter panel of Dubeau’s truck.

A Maine criminal background check shows Dubeau has been convicted of more than a dozen misdemeanors, including theft and indecent conduct, and was found guilty of operating under the influence in 2007, 2014 and 2017.

Most of the convictions resulted in fines or short stints in county jail.

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