Maine: Veteran bus driver, Richard Tanguay, carrying Biddeford field hockey team charged with OUI (DWI)

A state trooper pulled the school bus over after he observed it speeding and driving erratically, according to Maine State Police.

State Trooper Patrick Hall, who was on routine patrol, stopped the school bus around 8 p.m. on the Maine Turnpike southbound in Scarborough after he observed it speeding in a construction zone, failing to signal lane changes, and failing to stay in one lane.

According to a news release posted Sunday on the state police Facebook page, Hall stopped the bus for erratic operation and speeding. Once he had pulled the bus driver over, Hall said he observed signs of impairment. Hall proceeded to conduct a field sobriety test on the driver, Richard Tanguay, 68, of Biddeford, before transporting him to the Cumberland County Jail in Portland.

At the jail, state police said that Tanguay was given an Intoxilyzer breath test and an exam by drug recognition experts from the Freeport Police Department. Tanguay was charged with operating under the influence of drugs, driving to endanger and endangering the welfare of a child, state police said.

Tanguay posted $500 bail and was released from the jail. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Jan. 9 in Portland District Court.

Attempts to reach Tanguay at his Biddeford home were unsuccessful Sunday night.

School officials said the bus was carrying about 30 coaches and student athletes from the Biddeford High School girls’ field hockey team, which had traveled to Oakland for the state Class A championship game. Biddeford lost the game, 3-0, to Skowhegan High School, snapping its 35-game unbeaten streak.

According to Biddeford School Superintendent Jeremy Ray, the school department’s designated spokesman on the incident, Tanguay has been placed on administrative leave pending further investigation by the school department and by state police.

“We are cooperating with the authorities,” Ray said in a statement posted Sunday on Facebook. “Authorities do not believe alcohol was a factor, but are still investigating what caused the driver’s condition. We are not able to discuss additional details as this is a personnel matter. The police may elect to share additional information with the public when the time comes, but all parties are currently working to ferret out the facts.”

“We will continue to gather the facts and interview the employee before making any conclusions about this unfortunate development,” Ray said. “But, be clear. We have zero tolerance for any behavior that imperils students.”

Contacted by phone Sunday night, Ray described Tanguay as a full-time, veteran bus driver with more than 30 years of experience. Ray said the charges filed against Tanguay are not alcohol-related.

“What we do know for sure is that this man did not take a sip of alcohol,” said Ray.

Ray said that all school bus drivers must complete an annual Maine Department of Transportation physical exam and medications screen test to qualify for a commercial driver’s license. Biddeford’s bus drivers underwent the physical exam in August, but Ray said the school department does not receive any details due to health privacy laws. All the school department gets is whether the doctor conducting the exam passed or failed the driver.

During their annual commercial driver’s license exam, drivers are required to disclose prescription medications. Doctors must determine if the drugs a driver has been prescribed will interfere with his or her ability to operate a bus, Ray said.

In addition to the annual screening tests, any employee who operates a vehicle for the Biddeford School Department is subject to random drug testing administered by a third party.

Ray said that no one on the bus Tanguay was driving reported noticing anything out of the ordinary during the ride back from Oakland.

Ray said that students texted or called their parents during the police stop, keeping them informed of what was happening. He said the field hockey coach, Caitlin Trembert, kept him informed as well. Ray in turn kept in communication with parents. He said a substitute bus driver was notified and drove the students’ bus back to Biddeford.

Saturday night’s incident was not the first one involving a school bus driver from York County accused of impaired driving. In 2010, a Saco school bus driver pleaded guilty to one count of drunken driving and two counts of endangering a child’s welfare. In December 2009, the driver was arrested after being removed from a bus as she was about to drive dozens of Saco Middle School students home. She was charged with drunken driving again after authorities learned that she had driven herself home from the police station after telling police she had arranged a ride.

Maine: police ask for help solving the 1992 murder of Susan Hannah

Susan Hannah was 22 when she was last seen at a bar in Old Orchard Beach.

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — The Maine State Police are letting the public know the agency is continuing to investigate a case in which a woman’s body was discovered off a logging road nearly 26 years ago.

Susan Hannah’s body was found in Limington in November 1993, more than a year and a half after her mother reported her missing. Hannah was 22 when she was last seen at a bar in Old Orchard Beach.

The Portland Press Herald reports Hannah was living with her mother in Scarborough after having separated from her husband. The Maine State Police alerted the public of its continuing investigation with a Facebook post on April 20. The agency sometimes uses Facebook to notify the public about cold cases.

The agency asks anyone with information call 207-657-3030.

https://youtu.be/00ZkDtUk7yg

Maine: Samantha Rinaldi, 40, struck, killed by alleged drunk driver, Jay Westra, 58, in Gray.

A source close to the investigation tells NEWS CENTER Maine the alleged driver, Jay Westra, is the husband of Kristin Westra, whose body was found after an extensive search by law enforcement in October 2018.
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Jay Westra, husband of missing North Yarmouth woman, speaks

GRAY, Maine — A 40-year-old woman was hit and killed by a vehicle on Yarmouth Road in Gray Saturday night. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Deputies and Gray Fire and Rescue responded to the scene around 7:45 p.m. and found Samantha Rinaldi of Gray unresponsive in the road. Investigators believe she was a pedestrian and Rinaldi was transported to Maine Medical Center where she later died.

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Clay Gordon

@ClayGordonNews

Woman hit by alleged drunk driver in Gray last night. She was transported to Maine Medical Center where she later died. The driver is at the Cumberland Country jail on suspicion of OUI http://bit.ly/2GEhe1f 

Deputies arrested 58-year-old Jay Westra of North Yarmouth for allegedly operating under the influence.

RELATED: TIMELINE | Kristin Westra’s husband recounts night his wife disappeared

A source close to the investigation confirmed to NEWS CENTER Maine that Jay Westra is the husband of Kristin Westra, whose body was found after an extensive search by law enforcement in October 2018. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined Kristin Westra death was by suicide.

RELATED: North Yarmouth body identified, Kristin Westra’s death ruled suicide

Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office says Westra’s 11-year-old daughter was in the 2015 Honda Civic at the time of the crash.

Yarmouth Road is now open after being closed for approximately 30 minutes.

Cumberland County Detective’s Bureau and reconstructionists from Windham and Gorham Police Departments are investigating.

Conditions hamper Saturday search for David Henry Dietrich, Wisconsin man who fell in Kennebec River on Thursday

Jeff Nichols with the Maine Marine Patrol said visibility for searching underneath the water was only four to eight inches.

 

BATH, Maine — Maine Marine Patrol is still searching for a Wisconsin man who fell into the Kennebec River Thursday night.

Weather and river conditions on Saturday made searching difficult. Jeff Nichols with the Maine Marine Patrol said visibility for searching underneath the water was only four to eight inches, and that the current was very swift. He also said the water was very high.

RELATED: Wis. man who fell into Kennebec River ID’d; search continues

David Henry Dieterich of Racine, Wisconsin, was in Bath on a work assignment with his company Marshall Erecting, police said.

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search at about noon Friday.

Dieterich, a Bath Iron Works sub-contractor, was part of a small group of coworkers gathered on a floating dock by the north parking lot at Kennebec Tavern that had been roped off at the time of the fall, police said.

So far, they have not found anything.

Tomorrow, they plan to search the area near the dock where the man reportedly fell in.

Maine: Wisconsin native, David Dieterich fell into Kennebec River; search continues

David Dieterich of Racine, Wisconsin, was identified Friday by Bath police as the man who fell in the Kennebec River Thursday night.
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BATH, Maine — A 35-year-old Wisconsin man who reportedly fell into the Kennebec River in Bath Thursday night has been identified by police.

David Henry Dieterich of Racine, Wisconsin, was in Bath on a work assignment with his company Marshall Erecting, police said.

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search at about noon Friday.

Assisting the Coast Guard were Maine State Police, Maine Marine Patrol, Maine Warden Service and Brunswick and Bath police, whose efforts to search for Dieterich were still active as of early Friday afternoon.

The Coast Guard said it responded at about 9:47 p.m. Thursday to a report of a man “jumping” into the Kennebec River from a pier near Kennebec Tavern. Police said the man had fell into the water.

Dieterich, a Bath Iron Works sub-contractor, was part of a small group of coworkers gathered on a floating dock by the north parking lot at Kennebec Tavern that had been roped off at the time of the fall, police said.

The group had been out socializing at several bars and restaurants in downtown Bath, and came across the area behind Kennebec Tavern, which was closed at the time and was not one of the places to which they had gone.

Witnesses told police it was “a surprise” when Dieterich had fell in the water, and that “there was no prior discussion or any indications he was going to jump.” They said they think Dieterich accidentally fell in, as the dock was very unstable.

Police said no foul play was suspected. They were focusing their search on the immediate area, but said the changing tide may have carried him away.

The military service’s Boothbay Harbor station launched a 29-foot response boat and worked alongside the other law enforcement agencies, as well as multiple local fire departments.

The Maine State Police Dive Team was on scene using a side-scan sonar to search below the water.

The Kennebec River’s water temperature was about 40 degrees Friday morning, the Coast Guard said, and its currents were moving swiftly.

If you are going out on the water, wear a life jacket, have a plan and avoid alcohol, the agency says. Notify USCG immediately if you see someone in distress.

Kennebec search map

Maine: Driver ejected in Portland crash involving 7 vehicles, police say!

Speed and alcohol are considered to be factors in the crash, according to the Portland Police Department.

PORTLAND, Maine — A seven vehicle accident in Portland temporarily closed Commercial Street between Silver and Pearl Streets Wednesday night.

The Portland Police Department says the driver at fault was ejected in the crash on April 17 around 8:30 p.m. He was taken to Maine Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

Parked and occupied vehicles were hit in the accident. No one was seriously injured.

Police say speed and alcohol are considered to be factors in the crash.

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Portland Police@PolicePortland

Commercial St between Silver St & Pearl St is closed due to a 7 vehicle accident. Driver was ejected in the crash but does not appear to have serious injuries. Speed & alcohol are considered factors. Road closed to conduct investigation and remove vehicles.

Commercial Street has since reopened.

This story will be updated as more information becomes made available.

Maine: Snowmobile crash leaves Massachusetts woman Elizabeth Abelson and her unborn child dead :- (

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A woman from Gloucester, Massachusetts crashed her snowmobile into trees in Greenwood, Maine and was killed upon impact with her unborn child.

GREENWOOD, Maine — Maine Game Wardens say that a woman who was eight months pregnant from Gloucester, Massachusetts has died with her unborn child after her snowmobile crashed into trees near the Irish Neighborhood Road in Greenwood Saturday morning.

The woman was identified as Elizabeth Abelson, 30, who had been riding alongside her husband on a 2019 Ski-Doo Grand Touring snowmobile.

Wardens say Abelson lost control of her snowmobile and crashed into trees. Abelson was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Abelson and her unborn child were pronounced dead at Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway.

Maine Game Wardens are continuing an investigation of this crash.