A Skowhegan man who was the driver in a fatal car crash Saturday has a history of motor vehicle-related violations and was driving with a suspended driver’s license at the time of the crash, according to police and court records.

Anthony Vandyck, 40, was killed when Derek Knowles, 35, driving a Land Rover SUV belonging to Vandyck, lost control on the Maine Turnpike in New Gloucester Saturday and crashed, according to a press release from the Maine State Police.

Vandyck, of Fairfield, was a passenger in the northbound SUV. He was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected through the sunroof and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the release.

“It’s not clear what happened,” Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said in an interview Monday. “It’s a straight stretch of road. It was 1 p.m. in the afternoon and perfect weather. There’s not a real explanation to why he ended up where he did.”

Knowles had a suspended driver’s license because of failure to pay several fines related to OUI and operating after revocation convictions. He was arrested Saturday on a warrant for failure to pay fines. The arrest came after he was released from Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, where he was treated for minor injuries, and then taken to the Androscoggin County Jail, McCausland said.

There is a “high likelihood” that Knowles will face charges related to Saturday’s accident, though McCausland said he could not say whether drugs or alcohol were being looked at as factors.


It is standard procedure for drivers in fatal accidents to be tested for alcohol consumption.

Knowles has a criminal history dating back to a 1999 conviction of theft on two counts and convictions of theft and motor vehicle burglary in 2000, according to Somerset County District Court records.

He has also been convicted of operating under the influence twice in Somerset County, once in 2005 and once in 2008. He has convictions for operating without a license, operating after revocation, criminal trespassing, violating protective order, trafficking tobacco in an adult correctional facility and domestic violence assault.

After the 2008 convictions for OUI and operating after revocation, Knowles violated probation and failed to make payments on his fines several times. He is still working to pay a more than $2,000 fine related to those two charges, according to court records.

State police are consulting with the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office on whether additional charges will be filed against Knowles, McCausland said. Tamara Getchell, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, could not be reached for comment Monday.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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