WATERVILLE — A woman was arrested Tuesday morning in northern Waterville after allegedly causing a four-vehicle crash and striking a building in Fairfield with a car, then fleeing the scene.

Melinda Caven, 31, a transient, was charged with operating without a license, leaving the scene of a property damage motor vehicle accident and attaching false plates. She was released from the Fairfield Police Department on unsecured bail early Tuesday afternoon. She also was charged with a felony in relation to a theft of a license plate in Waterville.

Alcohol and illegal drugs are not suspected factors in the crash, but Caven was driving without a license, according to Fairfield Officer Patrick Mank.

“She told me she just panicked. She was in fear of more charges” because of the lack of a license, Mank said.

Caven, driving a 1993 Chevy Cavalier, drove into the back of a Honda stopped at a work zone on Main Street in Fairfield near the Village Market. The Honda then struck the Buick in front of it, and the Buick then hit the Dodge that it was behind, Mank said. There were no injuries reported in the crash.

Caven fled the scene in the Cavalier and drove down Burrill Street, where she lost control and struck a house.

“It took out the corner of the house,” Mank said.

Then, driving on a flat tire, Caven fled again and was spotted on College Avenue in Waterville.

The car was abandoned near Ace Tire on Drummond Street, and police found Caven trying to hide behind the auto parts store, Mank said. She was arrested around 9:48 a.m. Officers from Fairfield, Waterville and Winslow helped find Caven. Police called in a dog tracking team, but they canceled it when they found her before it was needed.

At the scene, Waterville police Officer Dan Brown recognized the rear license plate on the vehicle Caven was driving as the same plate that a resident of Summer Street had reported stolen on Monday. Brown issued Caven a court summons for a felony class C theft because of prior convictions, Waterville Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey said Tuesday.

Peter McGuire — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @PeteL_McGuire

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