Erratic car reported leading up to Port Clyde crash

By Juliette Laaka | Oct 01, 2013
The 2007 Infiniti, driven by Cheryl Torgerson of New York, New York, matches the description of a vehicle that was reported driving erratically in Waldoboro before the fatal Port Clyde crash Aug. 11 that killed a child.

Port Clyde — The vehicle involved in a fatal crash in Port Clyde may have instigated an erratic vehicle call to Waldoboro police before the Aug. 11 crash occurred on Monhegan Boat Landing, killing a child and injuring others, said police.

Waldoboro Police Chief William Labombarde confirmed Oct. 1 his department received a call of an erratic vehicle matching the description passing cars in the breakdown lane. Officers were busy dealing with a LifeFlight call for a crash on Route 1 and were unable to respond to the call, he said.

Labombarde said the car had New York license plates, was a black Infiniti, and assumed the plate number was the same as the car involved in the fatal crash, although he said he did not run the number.

He said the vehicle was heading north on Route 1 toward Warren the afternoon of Aug. 11, according to the call.

Knox County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Tim Carroll said the vehicle in Waldoboro matched the description and had a similar license plate number, although he said a few digits were off. He added although he cannot be absolutely positive the vehicle seen in Waldoboro was the same one involved in the crash, the description was a match.

Lambombarde also said the erratic car was noticed in Bath on the same day.

Carroll said he is unable to comment on the vehicle autopsy report of the 2007 Infiniti driven by Cheryl Torgerson of New York City. He said the district attorney's office has the report and will be reviewing it and determining whether criminal charges will be filed. He declined to say whether there was a mechanical failure noted in the report or not.

Calls and emails to District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau were not returned.

A family visiting from Cohassett, Mass., Allison Gold, her husband Howard, and sons Dylan and Wyatt, were walking toward the Monhegan Boat Landing at about 2:45 p.m. when the Infiniti, driven by Torgerson, crashed onto the busy landing.

Dylan Gold, 9, was killed in the crash, according to the Knox County Sheriff's Office. His mother, 50, and 6-year-old brother, Wyatt, were rushed by LifeFlight helicopter to Maine Medical Center in Portland. The father was not injured.

Also injured was Jonathan Coggeshall, 68, of Port Clyde.

The vehicle autopsy conducted in late August gathered information from the sedan's computer, said a press release from Knox County Sheriff's Office.

The sedan, impounded at Warren Auto Barn, was autopsied by Christopher Rogers of the Maine State Police, said Knox County Sheriff Donna Dennison at the time.

Dennison said the computer from the vehicle will be inspected as well as components of the car, to determine if the crash was caused by a mechanical failure. The vehicle's computer may be able to provide more in-depth information about what was happening immediately before and during the crash.

Carroll said Aug. 12 that Torgerson had not been able to provide an explanation for why her car continued to accelerate and why the crash took place. He said she was distraught after the crash. He said she did not seem to be impaired.

"It appears speed was a factor," he said.

Torgerson was a tourist visiting the area and planned to go on the ferry at the time of the crash, Carroll said in August.

Courier Publications' staff can be reached at 594-4401 or via email at jlaaka@courierpublicationsllc.com.

Comments (3)
Posted by: John A Lazaro Beckman | Oct 01, 2013 18:26

Mr. Rockwell just hit the nail right on the head! She was worried about being late, operated without regard for others and this was the outcome. The real question is why has there not been charges filed yet??



Posted by: Amanda Parten | Oct 01, 2013 17:28

Excuse me, but why had the car not been stopped prior to entering into Bath, much less Warren? Why did it take a loss of life and a number of cars destroyed in Port Clyde to stop this vehicle?  If in fact it was mechanical failure, wouldn't one try to alert police and/or try to stop the vehicle on their own? Just wondering..



Posted by: David J Rockwell | Oct 01, 2013 17:13

There was nothing wrong the car except the driver, who thought she was going to miss the boat to Monhegan for her two week vacation.



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Juliette Laaka
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Juliette primarily covers the cops and courts beat for The Courier-Gazette.

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