On 01/12/2021, Tr. Vanadestine received an erratic driving complaint on a pickup hauling a U-Haul trailer SB on I-95. Tr. Vanadestine pursued the pickup, eventually ramming the trailer in order to get the vehicle to stop before he killed other motorists in the area. The driver of the pickup, David Stoddard of Topsham, intentionally rammed a Lieutenant from Kittery PD who was in the crossover at MM 4.5, disabling his vehicle and ending the pursuit. Numerous Troopers and local police officers assisted in the pursuit and crash scene at MM 4.5.
On 01/12/2021, Tr. Jarrett Mackinnon assisted with Tr. Lee Vanadestine’s vehicle pursuit that concluded at mile 4 southbound on the ME Turnpike in Kittery.
On 01/12/2021, Cpl. Ricci Cote responded to and is currently investigating a double fatal crash involving two tractor trailer units and a passenger car on the ME Turnpike at mile 3.4 northbound in Kittery. Both occupants of the passenger car were killed. Many units assisted at the scene, in addition to Fire and Rescue personnel, and Turnpike Maintenance personnel. Once the investigation is complete, a report will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for review.
On 01/14/2021, Sgt. Porter was notified that Mr. Kamau, who was operating a commercial MV delivering mail in a double fatal crash on the Turnpike in 2016, pled to Federal criminal charges. Kamau struck a passenger car in the rear pushing it underneath another tractor trailer unit. The driver of the car, as well as a 5-year-old passenger in the back seat, were killed.
On 01/14/2021, Tr. Darcy took a report of a stolen license plate from a vehicle that was parked at the Biddeford Park N Ride. The investigation is ongoing.
On 01/16/2021, Cpl. Physic was called to a rollover crash at Mile 30 in Arundel. One of the occupants, Shaun DiFrancesco, claimed he was the passenger in the vehicle, and that the driver had fled. Fire Department members used a thermal imager and advised they could see a person in the woods. Cpl. Physic and Cpl. Cote conducted a track with a K-9 from the Kennebunk Police Department but were unable to locate anyone. DiFrancesco had warrants for cases that stemmed from 2008 which were Criminal Mischief, Assault, and Domestic Violence Assault. Cpl. Physic arrested DiFrancesco on those warrants and took him to the York County Jail. Sgt. Doughty, Sgt. Porter, and Tr. Welch also assisted.
On 01/17/2021, Cpl. Ricci Cote began an investigation of theft that occurred at the ME Turnpike northbound plaza in Gray at mile 57. Someone pried open a game machine overnight and stole an undisclosed amount of cash.
On 01/17/2021, Cpl. Physic received an erratic operation complaint. While Cpl. Physic was stationary waiting to see if the vehicle would come his way, he spotted a different vehicle traveling 101 MPH in a 50 MPH zone. Cpl. Physic pulled the vehicle over and contacted the driver, Frank Dushime. Dushime denied having anything to drink at all and said he had just come from work. Cpl. Physic put Dushime through field sobriety tests and placed him under arrest for OUI. Dushime was charged with Criminal Speed and OUI. Sgt. Doughty assisted.
Maine State Police have learned that two people died in the crash that occurred on Jan. 12, 2021.
As a result of reconstruction and investigative efforts, police learned that a major police incident that was being investigated on the southbound side of I-95 caused traffic to slow on the northbound side. A Freightliner tractor-trailer loaded with large paper rolls being driven by Lakhveer Gill, 40, of Brantford, Ontario was traveling north, behind him was a 2014 Lexus RX230, driven by Geoffrey Gattis, 68, with his wife Elizabeth Gattis, 68, in the passenger seat, both of Falmouth. Both vehicles had slowed down, when an unloaded tractor-trailer driven by David Herring, 38, of South Portland, failed to recognize traffic had slowed and struck the Lexus from behind. The force of the impact pushed the car into the back of the first tractor-trailer, crushing the smaller vehicle. Both occupants were found deceased.
The investigation is ongoing. Speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors. Once the investigation is complete, it will be reviewed by the York District Attorney’s Office.
A Topsham man is facing multiple felonies after leading police on a high-speed pursuit from Kennebunk to York.
On Jan. 12, 2021, law enforcement received approximately 6 calls regarding an erratic driver on I-95. Trooper Lee Vanadestine, saw the white 2002 Ford Super Duty pickup that was towing a U-Hail trailer. The trooper pursued the truck which failed to stop and continued at high rates of speed through three lanes of traffic. After witnessing the vehicle nearly strike other motorists, the Trooper attempted to end the chase by disabling the trailer, but lost control of his cruiser and crashed into the guardrail on the median, disabling the cruiser and sustaining minor injuries.
Trooper Jarrot MacKinnon became lead on the pursuit. A Kittery police officer attempted to deploy spike matts to disable the vehicle, but was unsuccessful.
A Kittery Police Lieutenant had parked in the mile marker 4.5 crossover in an attempt to assist in the pursuit. The truck rammed the Kittery Police Cruiser while the Officer was still inside. Kittery Police Lieutenant John Desjardins received minor injuries.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as David Stoddard, 49, of Topsham. He was taken into custody, inuring Trooper MacKinnon, and transported to York Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. He will be charged with Elevated Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Reckless Conduct, Aggravated Driving to Endanger and Eluding. Lt. Desjardins, Tpr. Vanadestine, and Tpr. MacKinnon were all treated and released.
Maine State Police and Kittery and York Police were involved in pursuing an erratic vehicle, and are also investigating a fatal accident that occurred on I-95 in southern Maine.
On Jan. 12, 2021, around 1:17 p.m., Maine State Police were involved in a pursuit on the Maine Turnpike southbound from Kennebunk through York which ended with the suspect crashing in the center median at approximately mile marker 4 (near the border of York and Kittery). This event slowed and stopped traffic in both the north and southbound lanes. Authorities received at least 6 complaints of erratic operation prior to the pursuit. Three law enforcement officers received minor injuries – two as a result of the pursuit and one while taking the driver of the erratic vehicle into custody. The driver was transported to an area hospital for minor injuries and charges are expected.
At approximately 2:11 p.m., traffic had slowed considerably and stopped in both the north and southbound lanes. A vehicle travelling in the northbound lane was struck from behind by a tractor trailer and pushed under the stopped tractor trailer in front of it. This is a fatal accident and police are working to contact next of kin, clear the scene, and reconstruct the crash. The District Attorney’s Office will review this crash once the investigation is complete. I95 Northbound will be closed until further notice and traffic is being diverted to exit 3. Please seek an alternate route.
This is all the information available at this time, we will update as more information becomes available.
The Commercial Vehicle Unit, Kittery Police Department, York Police Department, and York Fire assisted in both the pursuit and fatal incidents.
On 12/29/2020, Sgt. Porter responded to a crash involving Tr. Kelley, who was rear ended at a red light at the intersection of Veterans Memorial Bridge and Route 4 in Auburn. It was property damage only.
On 12/31/2020, Tr. Darcy stopped a vehicle traveling 100 MPH southbound on the turnpike in Arundel. The 18-year-old female was issued a VSAC for 99 MPH in a 70 MPH.
On 01/02/2021, Sgt. Pappas, Cpl. Duda, Tr. Darcy, and Tr. Williams responded to a 911 open line call on the turnpike in Saco where a female was overheard making statements indicating that she was being assaulted. Augusta RCC and Troopers worked together to gather information to learn who was calling and what vehicle they were in. It was learned that the male was from Boston and believed to be going back there. The thorough investigation led to the vehicle’s location being discovered and the Massachusetts State Police being notified as the vehicle had just entered their state. Massachusetts Troopers stopped the vehicle and as a result charged the male with Kidnapping and Trafficking heroin, oxycodone, and cocaine, as well as for possessing a taser, a stun gun, and brass knuckles. The investigation is ongoing and there may be additional charges.
On 12/26/2020, Tr. Vanadestine received a call from Augusta RCC regarding a suicidal male from MA traveling northbound on the Turnpike. Tr. Vanadestine located the male in West Gardiner and transported him to the hospital for an evaluation.
On 12/27/2020, Tr. Davis responded to a call of a female in the New Gloucester/Auburn area who was on the side of the highway calling for help. Tr. Davis and Cpl. Physic had a difficult time finding the female due to her consistently hanging up on dispatch, far off the highway, and being in black clothing. Tr. Davis was finally able to locate an intoxicated female and she called for a ride. A male and female picked her up. As she was heading southbound, the intoxicated female kept making calls to dispatch that she was feeling unsafe and arguing could be heard on an open line. Cpl. Physic and Tr. Libritz caught up with the vehicle in Saco. All the parties were interviewed and it was determined no crime was committed. The female who kept calling 911 was picked up by her parents.
On 12/17/2020, Cpl. Cote responded to the Cumberland Service Plaza on the ME Turnpike after an employee requested assistance removing two customers who were refusing to wear a mask and refusing to leave the facility after being told to do so. The two were being argumentative and causing a disturbance. Cpl. Cote made contact with the two, an adult male and an adult female, and escorted them out of the facility. They were given trespass warnings.
Tr. Keim responded to numerous crashes during the recent storm. None of the crashes were serious.
Tr. Keim was involved in a crash, where a motorist failed to move over and struck the rear of Tr. Keim’s cruiser while he was at a crash scene.
On 12/11/2020, Sgt. Porter took a complaint of an employee at the SB Kennebunk Service Plaza Burger King reporting they received threats from an ex-boyfriend, Ryan P. Desmond (35) of Biddeford. The complainant said Desmond threatened to kill anyone that came to see her, crawl through her window to get into the motel room located behind the service plaza, and stalk her. Desmond was located at his grandmother’s apartment in Biddeford by Sgt. Doughty and Cpl. Physic. Desmond was charged with VCR and DV Terrorizing, issued a Criminal Trespass Notice for the Kennebunk Service Plazas, and served a PFA by Biddeford PD for the victim. Tr. Doughty from Troop A assisted with taking possession of a shotgun and crossbow that belonged to Desmond and were stored in a camper in Lebanon. Desmond is prohibited from having firearms or dangerous weapons as a result of the PFA.
On 12/13/2020, at 1248 hours, Tr. Reaser received a complaint from Augusta RCC, reference a father crashing his truck into his daughter’s vehicle at mile 21 northbound in Wells. Tr. Reaser arrived on scene and arrested Michael Dicarlo (52) of Berwick, after he intentionally struck his 16-year-old daughter’s vehicle to force her off the road. She apparently took off with his other vehicle after threatening to harm herself. Dicarlo was charged with Driving to Endanger.
On 12/05/2020, Tr. Welch cited Zachary S. Dewar (29) of Jay with FT Maintain Control of a M/V after sideswiping a Connecticut-based power company truck that was en route to central Maine to assist with power outages from the weekend snowstorm. The crash occurred at Mile 41 in Scarborough.
On 12/05/2020, during the storm, Section 2 covered 16 total crashes during evening shift. This included three non-reportable crashes and 13 property damage crashes, according to MTA.
On 12/06/2020, Tr. Welch charged Derek M. Antonucci (31) of Riviera Beach, Florida with Driving to Endanger after he struck a safety truck owned by Reed & Reed, Inc. within the mile 49 construction zone in Portland.
On 12/06/2020, Tr. Darcy and Tr. Loder responded to a crash just prior to Exit 32 NB in Biddeford. As a result, Spencer Pope (29) of South Portland was charged with OUI. No one was injured in the crash.
Sgt. Porter was notified this week by Androscoggin DA’s office that a defendant in a manslaughter case pled guilty in a 2017 case in Auburn. Steven Primavera (36) of New Gloucester pled to Manslaughter receiving 6y/3y/3y and to drug charges for concurrent time.
Cpl. Physic instructed EVOC this past week that was shut down this past spring due to COVID.
Corporal Jesse Duda (Troop G) was awarded the Slaney CIT (Crisis Intervention Training) Officer of the Year today from Hannah Longley, who represents NAMI Maine. The ceremony took place outside of Portland PD today.
“CPL Duda has received many nominations for the CIT officer of the Year award this year. I have had the privilege of working in the same communities as CPL Duda over the years and hearing the stories emerge about his work through that time. As a result, when the nominations were made, it was no surprise to me that this is the pattern of interactions that he has developed. CPL Duda has had many examples of his commitment, compassion, and empathy over several years in which he has demonstrated and exceeded the goals that CIT sets forth to achieve. He has utilized de-escalation skills in times of high stress, he has remained calm and empathetic when those around him have raged, he has demonstrated not only compassion in the moment of encounters, but also in his follow up to building lasting relationships with those who are most vulnerable in the communities he serves. CPL Duda is able to see each individual not as a problem to be solved, but as a human in pain in need of connection and care. I am so happy to award CPL Duda with the CIT Officer of the Year and thank him for his commitment to the 1 in 4 Mainers who experience a mental health challenge each year.”