Cutler man indicted on manslaughter charge in crash that killed Millinocket teacher

Posted July 30, 2014, at 2:22 p.m.
Scott Ramsdell
Scott Ramsdell

BANGOR, Maine — A Cutler man charged with manslaughter in connection with the Jan. 27 death of a Millinocket teacher in a head-on collision on Route 9 in Eddington was indicted Wednesday by the Penobscot County grand jury on one count each of manslaughter, aggravated criminal operation under the influence of intoxicants, driving to endanger and three counts of stealing drugs.

Scott Ramsdell, 43, was arrested in connection with the crash June 23 when he appeared at Machias District Court on unrelated domestic violence charges stemming from a November incident in Washington County. He remained Wednesday at the Penobscot County Jail unable to post $50,000 surety or $20,000 cash bail set June 25.

Ramsdell was under the influence of methadone and a muscle relaxant at the time of the crash, according to an affidavit filed last month at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

He is next scheduled to appear in court in Bangor on Aug. 11.

The combination of the methadone and the muscle relaxant “contributed to changes in [Ramsdell's] mental status leading to a compromised ability to operate a motor vehicle,” according to Dr. Peter Thompson, who was hired by the Penobscot County district attorney’s office to review the results of Ramsdell’s toxicology report, the affidavit said.

The accident occurred shortly before 6 a.m. Jan. 27. A blood sample was drawn from Ramsdell about three hours later, Andrew Whitehouse, a detective with the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office, said in the affidavit. Ramsdell was at the Penobscot County Metro Methadone Clinic at 5:35 a.m., less than 30 minutes before the crash.

Ramsdell, through Bangor attorney Dennis Hamrick, who represented him at his first court appearance June 25, said that the road was icy the morning of the accident and a sand truck was behind him. Ramsdell said that he broke both legs and injured his shoulders and hands in the accident. As a result, he has been unable to work and had to go on disability.

Denise Golding, 47, of Eddington was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, according to a previously published report. Golding was westbound shortly before 6 a.m. Jan. 27 when her Hyundai sedan collided with an eastbound pickup driven by Ramsdell.

A single mother of four grown children, Golding taught English as a second language to Chinese students at Stearns Junior/Senior High School. She had bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Maine in Orono.

If convicted of manslaughter, Ramsdell faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

 

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