A Cumberland County grand jury has indicted a Woolwich man who is accused of leaving the scene of a traffic accident in which a skateboarder was killed last summer.

Wayne Harwood with his pet flying squirrel, Pilot. Facebook photo courtesy of Craig Harwoord

Ernest M. Patti, 37, of Woolwich was indicted on the felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving serious bodily injury or death, according to the February grand jury indictment list that was released Monday.

Wayne Harwood, 25, of Portland was killed in the collision on the evening of July 10. Harwood was hit by a white sedan as he entered Cumberland Avenue from Avon Street on his skateboard. He died two days later. The driver paused before fleeing, a witness said.

Cumberland County District Attorney Jonathan Sahrbeck said in an email that because the case is still pending, he cannot comment on the process used by the grand jury to indict Patti. Sahrbeck said that leaving the scene of an accident causing serious bodily injury or death carries a maximum prison term of five years.

Portland police investigated the fatal collision. A search warrant and affidavit filed in Cumberland County Court on July 31 by Officer Christopher J. Shinay provide some details about the crash and investigation.

Harwood was skateboarding in the middle of Avon Street shortly after 10 p.m. and did not stop for a stop sign, according to the court filing. When he entered the intersection, a white four-door sedan struck Harwood, who flipped over the hood and onto the vehicle’s windshield.

Harwood, who was not wearing a helmet, landed on the pavement in front of Cumberland Park Place, at 457 Cumberland Ave. His head was the first part of his body to hit the road.

A witness who was outside smoking a cigarette gave a description of the vehicle to police. The witness said the driver stopped for about 20 seconds before leaving. The witness told police that the driver turned to look at Harwood’s body, which was about 5 feet from the car, but no one got out of the vehicle.

“The white sedan left the area without attempting to check the well being of Harwood, and did not return,” Shinay wrote in his court filing.

Portland police said they later obtained surveillance footage of the crash from a camera at a nearby Avesta Housing project.

After the crash, Harwood’s father, Craig Harwood of Lincolnville, said his son grew up in Lincolnvillle and attended Camden Hills Regional High School. After graduation, Harwood attended community college in Bangor, where he studied welding.

Harwood described his son a free-spirited, kind soul who loved animals and nature and was a skilled photographer. He lived in Portland with his cat, and once had a pet flying squirrel named Pilot.

 


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