AUGUSTA — An Augusta man behind the wheel of an SUV that struck and killed an Oakland motorcyclist last June has been charged with a civil violation by police.

Eric Arbour, 24, was summoned by Augusta police Thursday on a charge of motor vehicle violation resulting in death.

Killed in the June 12, 2021, crash at the intersection of Civic Center Drive and Old Belgrade Road was Patric Sherman, 58, of Oakland.

Arbour was driving a 2018 Mitsubishi SUV on Civic Center Drive around 8:45 p.m. when he turned left, from the southbound lane, onto Old Belgrade Road, and struck Sherman, on a 2008 Yamaha motorcycle, who was traveling north on Civic Center Drive toward Belgrade, according to Augusta police Sgt. Eric Lloyd.

Sherman was killed and his passenger, Venise Thompson, then 51, also of Oakland, was injured and taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland for treatment.

Neither Arbour nor his passenger, Karla Pleasant, 54, of Augusta was injured.


Maine State Police reconstructed the crash and no charges were filed initially. However, following an investigation by Augusta police and review by the Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office, Arbour was summoned on the civil charge of a motor vehicle violation resulting in death, according to Augusta police Sgt. Jesse Brann.

The charge, according to state statutes, is made when a person is alleged to have, while operating a motor vehicle and committing a traffic infraction, caused the death of another person.

District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said Friday she was not yet allowed to publicly disclose the particular motor vehicle violation she is alleging Arbour committed because the case is still pending.

However, she said, in general that “I bring a charge of manslaughter when a person’s conduct is a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable and prudent person would exercise.”

“I bring a charge of a motor vehicle violation resulting in death when a person has committed a traffic violation and another person has died,” Maloney continued. “The difference between the two is the level of conduct. For example, speeding and causing a person’s death would bring a charge of motor vehicle violation resulting in death. But criminal speed (30 mph over the limit) would bring a charge of manslaughter.”

Potential penalties, if found guilty of the civil violation, do not include jail time but do include a fine of up to $5,000 and a license suspension of between 14 days and four years.

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