Mother says lawsuit settlement offers closure following child’s death on Port Clyde wharf

From left, vehicle operator Cheryl Torgerson, Knox County Sheriff's Sgt. John Palmer and Lt. Kirk Guerette look over the car that Torgerson was driving after she allegedly lost control, struck several cars and a family, killing a 9-year-old boy at the Monhegan Boat Landing in Port Clyde, in August of 2013.
BDN File
From left, vehicle operator Cheryl Torgerson, Knox County Sheriff's Sgt. John Palmer and Lt. Kirk Guerette look over the car that Torgerson was driving after she allegedly lost control, struck several cars and a family, killing a 9-year-old boy at the Monhegan Boat Landing in Port Clyde, in August of 2013. Buy Photo
By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff
Posted June 06, 2016, at 11:50 a.m.

PORT CLYDE, Maine — The mother of a Massachusetts boy who died nearly three years ago, when a car driven by a New York City woman slammed into people waiting on the wharf at Port Clyde for a ferry to Monhegan, said a settlement in a civil lawsuit has provided the family closure.

“I find it difficult to find the right words to explain my feelings regarding the legal settlement. Although we will forever mourn the loss of our beloved son, Dylan, the resolution of the legal process enabled our family to have some sense of closure,” Allison Gold said Sunday.

“I want to express my gratitude for the true sense of humanity and shared sorrow that was expressed by all parties, as we have all been touched by this tragedy,” the Massachusetts woman said.

Gold was seriously injured and her 9-year-old son, Dylan Gold of Cohasset, Massachusetts, died after being struck by a car driven by Cheryl L. Torgerson of New York City. The crash occurred on Aug. 11, 2013, as the Gold family was on the Monhegan-Thomaston Boat Line wharf in Port Clyde waiting for the ferry to Monhegan.

Allison Gold suffered multiple pelvic fractures, a perforated bladder and considerable internal bleeding. She spent two weeks at Maine Medical Center in Portland and another two weeks at a rehabilitation facility in Massachusetts. Her 6-year-old son, Wyatt Gold, was released from the hospital a few days after the crash. The father, Howard Gold, was uninjured.

Also injured in that crash was Jonathan Coggeshall, 70, of Port Clyde, who suffered a serious hip injury when he was struck.

The Gold family filed the lawsuit in August 2015 against Torgerson, the ferry line and James and Judith Barstow of St. George, who own the property where the fatal crash occurred.

Terms of the settlement with all the parties have not been released. Emails were sent Friday to attorneys for Torgerson and the ferry line but were not returned by early Monday. Torgerson is represented by attorney Robert Hatch of Portland. The ferry line and the Barstows are represented by attorney Thomas Marjerison of Portland.

The Golds are represented by attorney Kevin Libby of Portland.

The civil lawsuit went to mediation earlier this year. On May 9, the attorneys filed a notice with Knox County Superior Court stating that the case had been resolved following the mediation.

The Golds’ lawsuit maintained that Torgerson, 63, was negligent in driving her 2007 Infiniti sedan when she slammed into the family. The lawsuit also claimed the Monhegan-Thomaston boat line was negligent in failing to erect barriers and gates and failing to safely channel the mix of vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle traffic on the wharf where the crash occurred.

The lawsuit did not state a specific dollar amount in damages but pointed out that in addition to medical expenses, the family members suffered emotional distress from being struck by the vehicle and witnessing the crash that claimed Dylan Gold’s life.

The Gold family is represented by attorney Kevin Libby of Portland.

Torgerson was not criminally charged as a result of the crash. District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau said in February 2014 that there was insufficient evidence to show she acted in a criminally negligent manner.

Police had received reports of a car matching the description of Torgerson’s Infiniti speeding on several occasions in the hours leading up to the crash. Investigators, however, determined that at about 2:30 p.m. that day, Torgerson stopped her sedan on a downgrade to the wharf while heading to catch the 3 p.m. ferry to Monhegan Island.

She was stopped behind a sport utility vehicle, whose driver was talking to a parking attendant, when her car suddenly accelerated as if the pedal was stuck to the floor or jammed, Torgerson told investigators. Torgerson’s car struck the SUV and then her car sped up, struck a building and the pedestrians. Her recollection after the sudden acceleration was a blur, according to officers.

A blood test showed Torgerson had no alcohol in her system, and officers saw no signs of illness or that the driver was under the influence of any substances at the time, the district attorney said when he announced no charges would be filed.

A Maine State Police crash reconstructionist examined the sedan and found no mechanical problems.

 

http://bangordailynews.com/2016/06/06/news/midcoast/mother-says-lawsuit-settlement-offers-closure-following-childs-death-on-port-clyde-wharf/ printed on July 24, 2017