UPDATED: Woman remains hospitalized following Port Clyde wharf crash

Port Clyde man injured, child killed
By Daniel Dunkle | Aug 11, 2013
Photo by: Daniel Dunkle This Infiniti with New York plates crashed into the Monhegan Boat Line ticket office Aug. 11 in Port Clyde, struck five pedestrians and continued down the dock to strike vehicles parked there. One child was killed in the crash.

Port Clyde — Local and state law enforcement officials are working to find out why a woman from New York crashed her car on the Monhegan Boat Landing in Port Clyde Aug. 11, killing a child, injuring three others and damaging vehicles and a building.

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

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

Coggeshall and Wyatt Gold have been released from hospitals. Allison Gold was listed in critical condition Aug. 13 at Maine Medical Center.

All of the victims were walking toward the Monhegan ferry at about 2:45 p.m. when a 2007 Infiniti driven by Cheryl Torgerson, 61, of New York City, drove onto the busy landing.

The car struck one vehicle first and then crashed into the corner of the Monhegan Boat Lines ticket office, striking Coggeshall in the process, according to the press release from the Knox County Sheriff's Office. For some unknown reason, the car continued accelerating, hitting the Gold family and crashing into six other vehicles that were parked on the wharf.

Chief Deputy Tim 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.

"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.

Torgerson was taken to Pen Bay Medical Center as a precaution following the crash, but was not seriously injured, according to Sheriff Donna Dennison.

Police took a sample of the driver's blood to check for alcohol or drugs, Carroll said. They are awaiting results of the test. He said that in observing her, there was no indication that she was impaired by intoxicants or any medical issue.

The sheriff's office is working with the Maine State Police and Kennebec County Sheriff's Office to reconstruct the crash.

As part of the investigation, police are talking to witnesses and seeking a search warrant to perform a vehicle autopsy that will show any mechanical issues with the car. In addition, the vehicle's computer may be able to provide more in-depth information about what was happening right before and during the crash, according to Carroll.

Police will reconstruct the crash, complete a report of the data found in the investigation and create a computer simulation of the crash, he said.

Carroll said he hopes to have the investigation completed by the end of the week.

Firefighters and others at the scene commented that it was a "sad day."

The vehicles struck in the crash had been parked on the landing by people going to Monhegan on the boat. The boat was called back and arrived in the evening. Police and firefighters spent time helping those whose vehicles were damaged and those who needed to move their vehicles away from the scene.

Courier-Gazette Editor Daniel Dunkle can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 122 or ddunkle@courierpublicationsllc.com.

The corner of the Monhegan Boat Line ticket office in Port Clyde shows damage after a car struck it Aug. 11. (Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
Part of the wall at the Monhegan Boat Line ticket office is completely torn away following a car crash Aug. 11 in Port Clyde. (Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
Officers from the Maine State Police and Knox County Sheriff's Office work Aug. 11 to reconstruct a crash that killed one pedestrian in Port Clyde. The cause of the crash is still unknown. (Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
Comments (11)
Posted by: Debra L Whittier | Aug 14, 2013 08:38

Just to be clear - I think the article, tough as it was to write, was well written and my sympathies go out to the reporter who was surely disturbed by the photos he took and the words he wrote.  I took issue with Susan's post which seemed to take some sort of issue with the reporter and the fact he "continually" mentioned New York, which he didn't.  The focus is, and should be, on all of those affected by this terrible tragedy.

Posted by: Tammy Rolfe | Aug 14, 2013 08:15

 I agree Valerie, and Debra... I would hate to think that ANYONE (reporter or not) would blame an accident based on the state the car was registered in. I have met many people down here in the 10 years I have been here. I have been amazed at how people pull together not only in a tragedy, but also in a celebration. New York, or Maine driver, this was a horrible day for ALL the families, including the drivers, people on the dock, and the EMS responders. A little boy lost his life and many families will never be the same. My heart goes out to EVERYONE involved. 

Posted by: Brian D Poland | Aug 12, 2013 17:59

It a sad day for all the family and the driver of the car it well take a long time to get their life back to gather ! May god be with them all in this time of need .

Posted by: Valerie Wass | Aug 12, 2013 15:46

It does not matter what it says on the plates.  Jeez, Susan!  I ask that people here have some respect and show sympathy and kindness during such a trying time for the family, victims, friends, EMS personnel, Fire, Sheriff, Police and the many others that had to deal with this horrific accident.  May God hold you all near to his heart and many prayers and hugs are being sent your way from surrounding communities.

Posted by: Alison Wholey | Aug 12, 2013 09:51

Yesterday the sirens and emergency vehicles going past the house and the helicopter landing nearby signaled serious trouble. Knowing about this very sad loss makes everyone--especially parents--pause and think of the family with deep sympathy. Thanks to all the first responders who helped those in need.

Posted by: Debra L Whittier | Aug 12, 2013 09:12

What?!  The fact that is was a New York plate was mentioned ONCE - why even mention this in a comment thread? 

This accident was a tragedy of the highest order.  The unspeakable outcome will never leave our hearts and minds - my heart and prayers go out to all. 

Posted by: Sandra Savage | Aug 12, 2013 08:30

Thoughts and prayers for all involved.  Certainly not to diminish the concern for all life, having worked for a time in EMS I know the awful feeling that goes through everyone from the dispatcher to the most seasoned paramedic to the specialized Lifeflight crew when they hear 9 year old.  Truly a sad day.


Posted by: Coral L. Brown | Aug 12, 2013 08:21

So Saddened by this tragedy . May god help all who are suffering. and love them, in Jesus name AMEN !!!!!!



Posted by: Susan Sinclair | Aug 12, 2013 06:49

I feel horrible about the accident, but to continually mention New York plates says something about the reporter. I assure you that the plate wouldn't have been mentioned had this story been written elsewhere, where there are less "circle the wagons" attitudes. Having said that, I'm very sad for the families of both the driver and the pedestrians, their lives are changed forever.

Posted by: Tammy Rolfe | Aug 12, 2013 06:37

What a horrible tragedy for that family. Praying that the Mother and other child survive!!!!


Posted by: Catherine L Leonard | Aug 11, 2013 20:20

Rest in peace little one and prayers for your Mother and sibling! This is indeed a sad day!


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