Industry couple accused of endangering welfare of children

·3 min read

Sep. 8—INDUSTRY — A local woman was charged Tuesday with drunken driving after crashing a car into a tree, walking away with her two young children and attempting to hide her injured daughter from police.

Catherine E. Geren, 31, of Industry was arrested on misdemeanor charges of operating under the influence, endangering the welfare of a child, failure to report an accident and violation of condition of release.

Franklin County Deputy Andrew Morgan and Sgt. Ryan Close responded to a report of a crash at 4:01 p.m. on Hennessey Road. "It was reported that a female crashed on the road and was walking away with two young children," according to Morgan's affidavit filed in a Farmington court.

The caller reported the woman lived nearby on the road.

Morgan wrote that after he checked the car, he went to the house where Sgt. Close was talking with David Weber, 28, of Industry. Weber told Close he crashed the 2014 Scion.

When deputies questioned him about a woman driving the car and leaving the scene on foot with two children, Weber said he was the driver and the only person with him was his infant son. He told deputies to get out of the house, adding that the only other person at the house was his girlfriend.

Morgan called to Geren, who came from upstairs bedroom and said there was no one else in the house, she had not left the house and had no knowledge of the accident. She also told Morgan that her 5-year-old daughter was with her grandparents.

Weber and Geren changed their stories several times, Morgan wrote, leading him to believe there was another child there who could have been injured. He searched and found the 5-year-old girl who came out of the same bedroom where Geren had been. The girl, who had a cut on her lip and left cheek, said she, her mother and brother were in the car when it hit the tree.

Sgt. Close took her in his cruiser to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington to be checked out, while the infant boy was transported by a NorthStar EMS ambulance.

Maine Department of Health and Human Services placed the children with a relative, Morgan said.

Geren said later that she fell asleep while driving her daughter home from the the bus stop. She said she got the children out of the car and walked home because she didn't have cellphone service to report the crash. However, she didn't report it when she got there. She also denied consuming alcohol, but her breath test for blood alcohol content was over the legal limit of 0.08%, according to the affidavit.

Weber was arrested on a warrant charging two counts of failure to appear on unrelated cases and one count of endangering the welfare of a child, according to Morgan.

Geren was arraigned before a judge Wednesday and released from the Franklin County jail in Farmington on personal recognizance bail and a supervised release agreement.

Weber was released from jail on $310 bail.

Penalties upon conviction of the charges range from 364 days in jail to six months in prison.