March 24, 2018
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Driverless car travels 500 feet before crashing into another car, building

By Julia Bayly, BDN Staff

MADAWASKA, Maine — There were no injuries or drivers in a two-vehicle accident that caused several thousand dollars in property damage Tuesday morning in Madawaska.

Patricia Desrochers, 62, of Madawaska parallel parked her 2004 Toyota Corolla in front of Heritage Place on Main Street and neglected to put the transmission in park before switching off the ignition and getting out of the vehicle, according to Sgt. Ross Dubois of the Madawaska Police Department.

Several minutes later, just before 9:30 a.m., Dubois said, the unoccupied car began to roll west, down Main Street, traveling about 500 feet before striking an unoccupied, parked 2007 Dodge Caliber owned by Veronica Violette, 24, of Van Buren.

The impact deflected the Corolla, which continued across Main Street and crashed into an apartment building on the corner of 13th Avenue.

While officers went to the scene of the accident, Desrochers left Heritage Place and, upon discovering her car missing, called the Madawaska Police Department to report the vehicle stolen, Dubois said.

Desrochers then was reunited with her car, which had $3,000 in damage and needed to be towed from the scene, Dubois said.

The apartment building had several thousand dollars in damage, he said, and damage to the Dodge Caliber was minor.

Dubois speculated ruts in the road formed by heavy truck traffic may have served as “tracks” that guided the car down the road.

No charges are pending, he said.


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