Auburn man charged in crash that took jogger’s leg

Tyrone Fulgham relaxes Feb. 4 at his home in Auburn. Fulgham lost his leg after being hit by a motorcyclist while jogging in September in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal File

AUBURN — A local man accused of striking and seriously injuring a jogger while riding a motorcycle in September 2021 was charged with a felony on Wednesday.

An Androscoggin County grand jury has indicted 28-year-old Mason Perez on one count of dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

He was also charged with operating a motor vehicle beyond the class restriction, an offense punishable by up to six months in prison.

Perez was riding a hill on South Witham Road on a 2015 Kawasaki Vulcan motorcycle on September 23, 2021 around 5 p.m. when he hit Tyrone Fulgham, 52, police said.

A witness said a group of golfers from Fox Ridge Golf Club tried to rescue Fulgham until emergency crews arrived.

Fulgham suffered what police described as a serious life-threatening leg injury and was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, a spokesperson said.

Fulgham, who was training for an upcoming marathon, lost his leg after surgeons advised him to amputate it due to his injuries.

Perez was not injured in the crash.

As part of an investigation into the incident, Auburn police reconstructed the crash site, with assistance from Lewiston police.

Police said a witness reported that the motorcycle Perez was riding accelerated at the time of the crash. He had apparently lost control of the bike and put it down on the pavement before it hit Fulgham.

Perez was charged with riding a motorcycle without a motorcycle license and failing to produce proof of insurance, police said.

Fulgham is a member of a local running group and is well known for participating in local marathons and fundraisers.

In February, Fulgham told the Sun Journal he implored Perez to call 911 and asked a golfer who had come to his aid how to tie a tourniquet around his leg in an effort to reduce his blood loss.

Fulgham receives physical therapy twice a week and occupational therapy twice a week. He hits the gym three days a week, working mostly on his upper body.

He was recently fitted for a prosthetic leg.

“I have my prosthetic leg and I’m working really hard to get used to it,” Fulgham said on Thursday.

“Right now I’m mostly walking with a cane, but I’m starting to practice walking without it. Progress is slow, but I’m well ahead of my goals, so it’s going well. The road is still long but it looks very promising.

Fulgham said he was ready to forgive Perez.

“A friend of mine asked me the other day if I could forgive him. I said I could forgive him if I thought he had any remorse,” Fulgham said on Thursday.

Perez told the Sun Journal last month that he only saw Fulgham at the “last second, swerved and lost control” of his motorcycle.

He said he felt bad about what happened to Fulgham.

Since that incident, Perez has been charged with driving with a suspended license and later was involved in a single-vehicle crash in Lewiston that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Police said “speed and impaired driving” were factors in the accident, which is still under investigation.

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