February 3

DA decides not to prosecute fatal Port Clyde crash, survivor says

The man is letting the family of the young boy killed by a runaway car decide what to do next.

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

A Port Clyde man said Monday that he’s disappointed with the Knox County district attorney’s decision not to seek charges against the driver of the car that killed a 9-year-old boy and injured several others in August at the ferry dock in Port Clyde.

click image to enlarge

Workers repair damage to a shop that was struck by a car in August at the ferry dock in Port Clyde. Police said the car was driven by Cheryl Torgerson, 61, of New York City.

Carl D. Walsh/ 2013 Press Herald file

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Jonathan Coggeshall said he met Friday with District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau after the prosecutor met with the family of Dylan Gold, 9, of Cohasset, Mass. He said Rushlau wanted him “to understand the nature of his investigation” and to tell Coggeshall that he would not seek indictments against the driver, Cheryl Torgerson of New York City.

Coggeshall, 68, declined to describe Rushlau’s reasons for not seeking charges. He said he is deferring to Dylan Gold’s family to decide what, if anything, to do next.

“While I am still focused on recovering from my injuries, our main concern has been for the Gold family and the horrors they have suffered and the loss of their beautiful son Dylan,” Coggeshall said in a prepared statement that he read over the phone on behalf of himself and his family. “We ... are disappointed that (Rushlau) will not present the case to the grand jury.”

A phone message left with the Gold family was not returned Monday.

Rushlau was out of the office Monday to testify at the State House in the morning. He did not respond to an email message seeking comment.

On Aug. 11 near the Monhegan Boat Line dock in Port Clyde, a 2007 Infiniti sedan driven by Torgerson, 61, first hit Coggeshall, then struck a building and six parked cars before hitting Allison Gold and her two sons.

Torgerson’s car pinned Allison Gold, 51, against a parked car and knocked her sons, Wyatt, 6, and Dylan into the air. Wyatt landed between two parked cars; Dylan fell to the ground and was run over, according to an accident report.

“We have not yet read the police file to determine if any of Mrs. Torgerson’s statements to the sheriff were in error,” Coggeshall said, but “we will be disappointed if she continues to take no responsibility for what happened.”

Torgerson’s attorney, Eric “Rick” Morse, did not return a phone message seeking comment.

Coggeshall said he’s “very lucky I was not hurt worse.” He suffered a head injury and a fractured pelvis that put him in Maine Medical Center in Portland for five days and in a rehabilitation facility for 12 days.

“I’m still trying to get back to normal,” he said Monday.

Allison Gold was hospitalized at Maine Med for more than a week after the crash. Wyatt Gold was in Maine Med for two days.

Allison Gold’s husband, Howard Gold, was in the family’s van when the accident occurred and was not hurt.

Police have yet to say what caused Torgerson to lose control of her car around 2:36 p.m. as she drove down a narrow road toward the ferry wharf in the fishing village, part of the town of St. George. Torgerson told police she did not know why the car accelerated.

Police said that a car with a description similar to her Infiniti was seen speeding through Waldoboro less than an hour before the crash.

Waldoboro police confirmed in October that the Lincoln County dispatch center received a report of a driver speeding and passing cars on the right on Route 1 in Waldoboro at 1:47 p.m. The car was described as a black Infiniti with a gold license plate, said Waldoboro Police Chief William Labombarde.

The car involved in the crash in Port Clyde was a dark blue Infiniti with New York license plates. Most New York plates are predominantly yellow.

Rushlau has declined to say whether police suspect the car seen speeding through Waldoboro was the one Torgerson was driving.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

sdolan@pressherald.com

Twitter: @scottddolan

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