November 7, 2013

Crash on I-295 snarls traffic; driver flees scene

State police later track down Julie Caton, who is alleged to have caused a car containing two adults and two children to roll over.

By Dennis Hoey
Staff Writer

CUMBERLAND — Four people, including two children, had to be transported to a Portland hospital on Wednesday night after their vehicle was run off the road by another driver who state police allege fled the scene.

click image to enlarge

Maine State Troopers attend to an overturned car Wednesday night after an alleged hit-and-run crash on southbound I-295 in Cumberland.

Photo by Maine State Trooper Jessica Shorey

Maine State Police tracked down that driver, 44-year-old Julie Caton, at her home in Portland, and summonsed her for leaving the scene of an accident and failing to report a crash. Both are misdemeanor offenses.

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.

“She (Caton) tried to pass a line of cars on their right and she didn’t quite make it past Larcombe,” Shorey said.

The impact of the collision forced Larcombe’s car into the median area where it rolled onto its side. Larcombe, a passenger named Kathryn LePage, and two children, ages 8 and 12, were transported by ambulance to Mercy Hospital to be checked out. Shorey said all four people were wearing seatbelts and no one suffered a serious injury.

A witness told police that Caton kept driving. That individual was able to take down her license plate number, which Shorey then used to locate Caton at her home. Police also recovered the bumper from Caton’s car, which fell off after her car collided with Larcombe’s vehicle.

Shorey said police were able to keep one lane of southbound traffic open following the crash but traffic in the northbound lane was “backed up for miles,” Shorey said.

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.

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