Tuesday December 18, 2012

BRATTLEBORO -- Law enforcement agencies around the region responded to a spate of vehicle accidents over the weekend and into Monday.

"Now that we've had our first real blast, it's disappointing how busy the Brattleboro barracks has been, yesterday and today," said Captain Ray Keefe, Troop Commander of Troop D. "There's no magic formula. It's about speed, safety and equipment -- having the right tires. What we see is people's driving habits not changing enough from day to day. We're not seeing appropriate actions being taken. People are driving as if the pavement is blacktop and sticky. And it doesn't work."

State Police Troop D -- with barracks in Brattleboro, Rockingham and Royalton -- responded to between 40 and 50 accidents. Troopers have been encouraged to issue traffic tickets for those who are driving at speeds that are too fast for the existing conditions, which is under Title 23/1081. Tickets are currently $214.

Keefe also told the Reformer that the police have noticed that crashes used to be mostly caused by out-of-state vehicles, but lately the police have seen a lot of Vermont residents having accidents in bad weather conditions.

Keefe reminds drivers to wear seatbelts. If crashes occur, it is much easier for a passenger to be ejected from the vehicle if the person is not buckled in.

Police have reported that drivers have been driving at a speed too fast for the existing conditions, operating with tires that are not suitable for the winter and failing to exercise common sense in hazardous conditions.

"If you don't have to travel, then don't. If you do, you got to set the speed right," Keefe said.

-- A vehicle left its lane when it slid from the median and struck a guardrail on I-91 in Putney on Dec. 16. The vehicle then rolled over and came to rest on its wheels. The passenger was treated and released, suffering from contusions and abrasions.

-- In Guilford, on Dec. 16, a vehicle left its lane on I-91, struck an embankment and rolled over. A rear seat passenger received a minor laceration. At the time it was snowing and sleeting. The road was icy. The operator was issued a warning for traveling at an excessive speed for existing road conditions.

-- On Dec. 16, a vehicle traveling on I-91 was traveling too fast for the road conditions. Its operator lost control and the vehicle entered the median, collided with rock ledges and overturned. The vehicle was a total loss.

-- On Dec. 16, another vehicle on I-91 left the travel portion of the roadway and struck a mile marker sign on the right hand shoulder.

-- During snowfall on Dec. 16, a driver on Route 5 was traveling southbound when she came around a sharp corner near the Big Red Barn and lost control of her vehicle, causing her vehicle to go into the northbound lane. A vehicle traveling northbound struck the vehicle. Both operators were transported to Springfield Hospital. No serious injuries were sustained.

-- On the same day, a vehicle slid on a dangerous curve in Marlboro and lost control. It slid across Auger Hole Road and struck a moderate sized tree with its passenger side front door area. Because the operator and passengers were wearing seat belts, serious injuries were prevented.

-- There was a two-car head-on crash on South Wardsboro Road in Newfane on Dec. 17. A Subaru lost control and entered the on-coming lane. It collided with a 2013 Mack dump truck. The operator of the Subaru was transported from the scene to the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. The Subaru was a total loss. The Mack Truck had to be pulled back onto the roadway but was able to be driven away from the scene.

-- A single vehicle roll-over occurred on Dec. 17, on I-91 in Dummerston. The vehicle began losing control as a result of poor road conditions, veered off into the median and began turning over. No one was hurt but the vehicle was totaled.

-- Members of the Vermont State Police Brattleboro Barracks responded to a two-vehicle crash on I-91 North on Dec. 17. A tractor trailer collided with the rear end of a Subaru Legacy on the Exit 3 off-ramp. The Subaru was attempting to the enter the roundabout when this crash occurred. It suffered minor damage and did not need a tow. No one was injured in the crash.