January 18, 2021


Two people from Sanford died when a pickup truck going north on Interstate 95 went over a guardrail and landed on Kennedy Memorial Drive in Waterville on Wednesday morning. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

WATERVILLE — Two people from Sanford were killed Wednesday morning when the pickup truck they were riding in went over a guardrail on Interstate 95 in Waterville and landed on its roof in the westbound lanes of Kennedy Memorial Drive.

Gary Capehart, 71, and his passenger, Susan Pope, 63, were found dead in the 2003 Chevrolet pickup when first responders arrived around 10:25 a.m., said Maine State Police in a news release Wednesday evening.

The vehicle was going north when it went over the interstate guardrail near the overpass for Kennedy Memorial Drive, landed on its roof and quickly caught fire, state police said.

Police say they believe that speed, snowy conditions and traffic congestion from another crash were factors. The Maine Department of Transportation was maintaining snowy roads in the area Wednesday morning and the interstate speed limit had been lowered to 45 mph.

The busy Kennedy Memorial Drive was closed westbound for about 2 hours while the crash was investigated.

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UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio — The recent rash of car thefts in northeast Ohio has led Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan and Police Chief Dustin Rogers to ask residents to do a couple of simple things — don’t leave the key in the vehicle when it is parked, and keep it locked.

Rogers released Monday, during City Council’s online meeting, a statement from UHPD Det. Ben Feltoon pertaining to the thefts. Feltoon noted that, since mid-September, University Heights has experienced 13 vehicle thefts from residential driveways.

Car thieves, he said, have had an easy time of it while committing their crimes.

“The suspects that have been caught laugh about how easy people make it for them to be able to steal their car,” Feltoon wrote. “To date, 100 percent of the cars stolen recently in University Heights have been left unlocked and had the keys in the vehicle. This makes it extremely easy for criminals to steal from you.

“Please, please, please lock your cars,” the detective advised. “Even in your driveway. Even if you were just running in the house for a minute. Even if you have nothing in the car worth taking. Remove valuables, firearms, and car keys when you are not in the car. We need to stop giving these criminals the opportunity to victimize our community.”

Ten of the 13 cars stolen from University Heights have been recovered, Feltoon added.

“On our end,” Rogers told council members during Monday’s meeting, “we’ve been increasing our patrols, utilizing uniformed and plain clothes resources in the field to try to deter and intercept those that are (committing) these crimes, but is difficult for us to do to and be successful alone as an agency. We need to collaborate with the community, express to residents that when they hear something or see something suspicious to call the police department right away.

“To further enhance the communication and the awareness of this, our police department and office of community policing is collaborating with the office of the mayor to put out a mailer to our residents,” Rogers said. “More information will be forthcoming.”

As part of his daily COVID-19 email update on Nov. 12, Brennan wrote, “To be absolutely clear, we are not trying to ‘blame the victim.’ We are instead asking residents to help stop this crime spree.

“Do not make it easy for thieves. Please do not leave your keys in your car. Always lock your car. And do not keep valuables in sight of potential thieves.”

The UHPD dispatch center can be contacted at 216-932-1800, and 911 can be used for any situation that requires an immediate response from officers.

COVID precautions

During Monday’s meeting, it was mentioned that the popular Jack’s Deli & Restaurant, 14490 Cedar Road, would be temporarily closing for two weeks. On the eatery’s Facebook page, it is stated that Jack’s closed after an employee tested positive for the virus. Jack’s plans to reopen on Nov. 27.

“I imagine we’ll be seeing more of that