November 7, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

CUMBERLAND

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.

PORTLAND

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.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.

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.

KENNEBUNK

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.

LEWISTON

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