February 28, 2020
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Parents of 9-year-old killed in Port Clyde accident say grief is ‘still raw’

PORT CLYDE, Maine — Nine-year-old Dylan Gold had a dual nature — he was tough as nails but sensitive as well.

The parents of the boy who died on Aug. 11 when a car careened onto the wharf of the Monhegan Boat Lines spoke Thursday about their son and their loss.

“It’s still painful to talk about. It’s still raw but it is a little bit easier to talk now than it was earlier on,” Allison Gold of Cohasset, Mass., said in the family’s first interview since the accident.

The mother suffered serious injuries when a car driven by 61-year-old Cheryl Torgerson of New York City struck several cars, a gift shop on the wharf, and four people standing on the wharf, including Allison Gold and her two sons, Dylan and Wyatt.

In a phone interview, Gold said members of the family had been waiting to board the ferry to Monhegan for their annual two-week vacation. She and her husband, Howard Gold, a physician, have vacationed on Monhegan each summer for more than 10 years.

Howard Gold was still in the family’s van and witnessed the crash.

“I never saw the car coming,” Allison Gold said Thursday. “I heard the engine roaring and the cars banging. I turned to the kids and said ‘run.’ I told Wyatt to run and looked at Dylan and saw him get hit. Then I got hit.”

The mother ended up underneath Torgerson’s 2007 Infiniti G-35.

Allison Gold suffered multiple pelvis 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.

“There have been a lot of setbacks but I am certainly better,” she said.

She participates in physical therapy three times a week and just recently was able to walk without a crutch. She has yet to go back to work as a nurse at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Wyatt, 6, also was injured and spent a few days in the hospital.

The Golds said their son Dylan was tough and loved to go barefoot throughout the year whether it was in the snows of winter, while hiking or scrambling on rocks during their trips to Monhegan.

But Dylan also was sensitive and protective of his younger brother Wyatt, his parents recalled. Allison Gold said one time Wyatt fell and broke his arm and Dylan broke down in tears, saying he wished it was himself instead of his little brother who got hurt.

“He was Wyatt’s best friend, his protector, his mentor,” his father said.

Dylan was home-schooled and in the afternoons would be involved in any one of numerous activities including the swim team, downhill skiing, jumping on a trampoline or playing the guitar.

His father said Dylan was given a small adult mountain bike early in the summer and the father and son “had a blast” riding bikes together. He said they had planned on another mountain bike adventure once they returned from the Monhegan trip.

As for the driver of the car that struck their family, the parents said they have mixed emotions.

“What I really want — and realize I may never get this — is that I want to know why her car went out of control,” Allison Gold said. “I don’t want to be the judge of her actions. It is too emotional for me. She has said she does not remember, but I do not believe this. Generally speaking, unless you are hit on the head or have some sort of medical condition, there is no reason to have sudden memory loss. I just want her honest response as to why she lost control of her vehicle.”

Torgerson, who was not injured, told police that she does not recall what happened other than the car sped up.

An exhaustive investigation into the crash by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and the Maine State Police failed to find any problems with the vehicle, Knox County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tim Carroll said in late September. The investigative reports were turned over that month to the district attorney’s office.

District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau said earlier this week that he was still reviewing the files.

Waldoboro police reported that they had received a call the afternoon of the crash in Port Clyde about a black Infiniti with gold-colored license plates numbered GVC7762 driving recklessly, passing cars on the right and speeding on Route 1 in Waldoboro, 2 miles north of the Nobleboro town line.

The car involved in the fatal Port Clyde crash was a dark blue 2007 Infiniti G-35 with gold New York license plates GBC7262. The accident happened at 2:36 p.m. as Torgerson was trying to catch the 3 p.m. ferry to Monhegan for a vacation and about 45 minutes after the reckless driving incident was reported in Waldoboro.

The Golds said they received a letter from Torgerson four days after the crash. Howard Gold said what struck him and his wife about the letter — which he said contained a lot of “I’m sorry” statements — was that it was postmarked from Maine.

“It’s incomprehensible to me that she went on her vacation the day after [the crash],” he said.

Allison Gold said she also was bothered by that fact.

“The more information I got, she didn’t seem to be as distraught as I would have been if I had done that. She set off a nuclear bomb in the middle of our family,” Allison Gold said.

According to an affidavit filed in court by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office to obtain a search warrant to download information from the electronic data recorder in Torgerson’s vehicle, Torgerson said her car started to accelerate as she came down the incline toward the ferry wharf. Torgerson told investigators that the accelerator went down on its own and was stuck to the floor, according to the affidavit.

Torgerson’s attorney Eric “Rick” Morse filed a motion in Knox County Superior Court on Sept. 12 requesting that state police return all data received from her vehicle’s electronic recorder. The motion claims that police didn’t have sufficient evidence to obtain the search warrant that allowed them to download the information from Torgerson’s vehicle.

Morse’s motion stated that the district attorney’s office is objecting to releasing the information to her.

The court reported this week that no action has been taken on that motion.

The town of St. George formed a committee that is looking at whether improvements could be made at Port Clyde village to make it safer for motorists and pedestrians.

The Golds said that if anything good came out of the tragedy it was the response of both their home community of Cohasset and the community of Port Clyde.

Mainers from across the state gathered last month for a “Rock the Dock” fundraiser on the Monhegan Boat Line wharf to remember Dylan and raise money for the emergency workers who came to the aid of the family.

“There was remarkable kindness and generosity from people we knew, people we hardly knew, and complete strangers,” Howard Gold said.


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