A Skowhegan man has been indicted by a Cumberland County grand jury on criminal charges related to a car crash in June on the Maine Turnpike that resulted in the death of a Fairfield man.

A warrant has been issued by the court for the arrest of Derek Knowles, 35, of North Avenue, Skowehgan, in the June 13 death of Anthony VanDyck, 40. Knowles was driving a Land Rover SUV belonging to VanDyck when he apparently lost control on the turnpike in New Gloucester.

VanDyck, of Fairfield, was a passenger in the northbound SUV. He was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected through the sunroof and was pronounced dead at the scene.

In the indictments handed up Nov. 6, the Cumberland County grand jury charges Knowles with operating after license revocation, a class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. The indictment notes that Knowles has two convictions for operating after habitual offender revocation.

Knowles also was convicted of operating under the influence in July 2005 and again in September 2008, both in Somerset County, according to court documents. He is charged additionally with causing death while his license was suspended or revoked, a class B felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

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 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.

Knowles later was released and a new arrest warrant was issued on Tuesday. Cash bail in the amount of $10,000 will be imposed on Knowles once he is taken into custody.

There is no record in court documents of a scheduled court appearance or of a lawyer who represents him.

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

He has convictions for operating without a license, operating after revocation, criminal trespassing, violating a 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.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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