UPDATED: Criminal charges will not be brought in fatal Port Clyde crashDA: Civil case may come next; Port Clyde man injured disappointed by decision
Port Clyde — District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau confirmed Feb. 3 that criminal charges will not be brought against the driver in the August car crash that killed a 9-year-old boy at the Monhegan Boat Landing in Port Clyde.
A 2007 Infinity driven by Cheryl Torgerson, 61, of New York City, crashed onto the busy boat landing Aug. 11, striking three members of a family visiting from Cohassett, Mass. and injuring a Port Clyde man. Dylan Gold, 9, was killed and his mother Allison Gold and brother Wyatt were injured along with Jonathan Coggeshall, 68, of Port Clyde.
Dylan's parents met with Rushlau Friday, Jan. 31, at the Knox County Courthouse in Rockland to discuss the case.
Rushlau confirmed that police conducted a thorough investigation of the crash, but there was not enough evidence to support charges of criminal recklessness or criminal negligence.
He said he would issue a more detailed statement on the matter later this week.
He said the parties involved are now evaluating whether to go forward with a civil case, which would have to establish that Torgerson was negligent in some way.
Torgerson's attorney, Rick Morse of Rockland said Feb. 3 that he was aware of Friday's meeting with the district attorney and he could confirm that no charges will be brought by the DA's office. Beyond that, he said he had no comment.
Coggeshall said he remains focused on his recovery, but said his main concern is the Gold family and the horrors they have suffered from the loss of their beautiful son, Dylan.
He also met with Rushlau Jan. 31 and said he is disappointed the case will not be presented to the Knox County Grand Jury to decide whether a criminal case against Torgerson will proceed. The grand jury began Monday, Feb. 3.
Coggeshall said he was not able to read through all of the statements Torgerson gave police, but said he wanted to determine whether her statements to the Knox County Sheriff's Office about what happened were in error.
He said although Torgerson blamed the car's accelerator for the crash, with evidence from the vehicle's black box, and reports of her behavior before and after the accident, he will be disappointed if she takes no responsibility for what happened.
Coggeshall would not comment on whether he will pursue a civil case against Torgerson.
Knox County Sheriff Donna Dennison said she agrees with Rushlau's decision not to pursue criminal charges as she said there is not enough evidence to support a case.
"I believe the district attorney made a very careful and in depth study of the entire incident. He therefore made a very well thought over conclusion. I agree with Mr. Rushlau and his decision, the facts do not support criminal charges. This remains a very tragic accident, one that we and the community will not soon forget.," she said in an email Feb. 3.
Reporter Juliette Laaka contributed to this report.
Courier Publications' editor Dan Dunkle can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 122 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Daniel Dunkle is editor of The Courier-Gazette and news director for Courier Publications. He lives in Rockland with his wife, Christine, who also works for Courier Publications, and two children.
Dunkle has previously served as editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. He has worked as a reporter and photographer in the Midcoast for 15 years.
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