Woman charged with leaving scene of accident on I-295
Four people, including two children, were transported to a Portland hospital Wednesday night after their vehicle was run off the road by another driver who state police say fled the scene.
State police tracked down the alleged driver, 44-year-old Julie Caton, at her home in Portland, and charged her with leaving the scene of an accident and failing to report an accident. Both are misdemeanors.
State Trooper Jessica Shorey said Caton was passing cars on the right on southbound Interstate 295 in Cumberland when she swerved back into the travel lane and struck a car operated by Casey Larcombe, 35, of Brewer.
The impact forced Larcombe’s car into the median, where it rolled onto its side. Larcombe, a passenger named Kathryn LePage and two children, ages 8 and 12, were transported to Mercy Hospital to be checked. Shorey said all four people were wearing seat belts and none suffered a serious injury.
A witness told police that Caton kept driving. That individual took down her license plate number, which Shorey used to find Caton at her home. Police also recovered the bumper from Caton’s car.
Shorey said northbound motorists who were “rubbernecking” caused a huge traffic jam during the evening commute. The crash took place around 4:15 p.m.
Police search for suspect who robbed 7-Eleven
A man who walked into the 7-Eleven convenience store on Forest Avenue Wednesday night and demanded money threatened violence after the store clerk at first refused to hand over cash.
Lt. Robert Ridge said the confrontation escalated when the suspect told the clerk he had a gun and would use it if necessary. The man, who never displayed a weapon, then left the store with about $40 in cash.
Ridge described the suspect as a white male wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt and a red scarf that covered his face. He was last seen fleeing on foot in the direction of Riverside Street.
Portland police used a police canine to track the suspect without success. The robbery took place at 6:20 p.m.
Officials assess damage to barge that ran aground
Authorities planned Wednesday to assess the damage on a barge loaded with diesel fuel that ran aground outside Portsmouth Harbor late Tuesday.
A tugboat moving the barge, which was carrying 80,000 barrels of low-sulfur diesel, was maneuvering to start pushing from the stern when the barge drifted into a shoal, the Coast Guard said.
Nobody was injured. It appears there was no serious damage to the double-hulled barge and no fuel leaked, the Coast Guard said. The barge was moved off the shoal and berthed where it is expected to offload its cargo.
The captain of the tugboat Mediterranean Sea was given drug and alcohol tests as required. The alcohol test was negative and the drug test results are pending, the Coast Guard said.
A more extensive damage assessment was to be conducted during the slack tide at about 1 p.m.
The grounding happened off Fort Point at the entrance to the harbor, the Coast Guard said.
Turnpike rest area closed after bomb threat discovered
Maine State Police evacuated the Kennebunk rest area on the Maine Turnpike Wednesday morning after discovering a bomb threat.
The rest area and its entrance ramp at mile 25 southbound were closed for two hours while a state police bomb detection dog searched the property. No bomb was found.
The rest area reopened at 9:15 a.m., according to the turnpike authority.
The case remains under investigation and police ask that anyone with information call 624-7200.
Dismissal of 13-year-old’s arson confession will stand
Prosecutors say they will not appeal a judge’s order to dismiss as evidence the videotaped confession of a 13-year-old boy charged with setting an April fire in Lewiston that destroyed three apartment buildings and left 75 people homeless.
A judge ruled last month that the confession should be suppressed because the boy wasn’t read his rights until nearly two hours into the police interrogation.
Although Androscoggin County prosecutors urged the state attorney general to appeal the judge’s order to the state’s highest court, Attorney General Janet Mills declined.
Mills said justice will be best served by referring the boy to state child welfare authorities for appropriate services.
Defense lawyer Allan Lobozzo told the Sun Journal the decision was a “great outcome.”
Prosecutors did not immediately decide how they will proceed.
Man, 60, killed when truck slams into rear of school bus
An Orono man was killed Tuesday when his pickup truck ran into the back of a school bus on Riverside Drive.
Nobody on the bus, which was carrying three students and the driver, was injured, said Augusta police Lt. Christopher Massey.
The truck driver, Herbert LeBreton, 60, of Orono, was taken by a LifeFlight helicopter to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. LeBreton later died of his injuries, Massey said.
The crash occurred around 2:15 p.m. between two construction sites associated with an ongoing gas line project. The 2013 First Student bus, driven by Jessica Kanaris, 39, of Augusta, was stopped when LeBreton’s 2013 Chevy Silverado slammed into the back of the bus. The impact wedged the front of the pickup under the bus up to the windshield.
LeBreton was trapped in the truck as rescue crews worked to free him from the crumpled wreck. It is unclear why the accident occurred.
Angus King’s spokeswoman will step down next month
Crystal Canney, Maine Sen. Angus King’s spokeswoman both in Washington and during last year’s campaign, plans to step down next month.
Canney said Wednesday that she will leave her post in early December and resume her work in the private sector. She ran Portland-based Canney Communications before joining King’s 2012 U.S. Senate campaign.
King praised Canney’s contributions to his campaign and to his first year in Washington.
“Crystal’s tireless dedication to my election effort and her efforts on The Hill are unmatched,” King said in a statement. “She is and will remain a trusted adviser. She has helped me navigate the national media flawlessly. I wish her the very best in this next chapter of her career.”
Like many Capitol Hill staffers, Canney has spent the past year working part-time in Washington and part-time in Maine. She said Wednesday she plans to return to Maine.
A former journalist, Canney worked for several years as a spokeswoman for former Gov. John Baldacci and as an assistant commissioner in the Baldacci administration.
Canney said she will announce “a new business partnership” in January but, when asked, she did not elaborate on her plans.