Portland man indicted for Downeaster crash

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PORTLAND — Derso Mekonen, who police said tried to beat the Amtrak Downeaster through a grade crossing at 8 a.m. on Jan. 27, was indicted April 7 on several charges.

A Cumberland County grand jury indicted Mekonen, 56, on a count of Class C reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, two Class D counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and a Class E count of driving to endanger.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt or innocence, it is a determination enough evidence exists to try a case.

Police said Mekonen, whose address was not listed, drove his 2008 Nissan Sentra into a southbound Downeaster as it crossed Brighton Avenue near St. John Street after he pulled around a line of stopped cars. His 5-year-old and 9-year-old children were in the car.

The children were unhurt, and Mekonen was treated at Maine Medical Center for non life-threatening injuries.

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