Saturday June 29, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- Route 9 in West Brattleboro was closed for eight hours on Thursday to allow investigators to reconstruct an accident that happened at around 4 p.m.

In addition to the investigation, the road was closed to allow for the cleanup of a spill of about 40 gallons of diesel fuel onto the roadway. According to Brattleboro Fire Chief Michael Bucossi, all of the spilled fuel remained in the roadway and none of it made its way into the Whetstone Brook.

The Brattleboro Fire Department received the first call at 4 p.m. and Engine 4 from the West Brattleboro Station was on scene six minutes later, said Bucossi. The accident, between a tractor trailer and a pickup truck, happened near the intersection of Marlboro Road and Cooke Road, about 200 yards west of the Brattleboro Veterinary Clinic.

When the fire department received the call, it was notified that one person was possibly trapped inside a 1997 Chevrolet pickup, said Bucossi.

"There was a man trapped in the pickup," he said. "It took us 43 minutes to extricate him."

According to Brattleboro Police Department Det. Jon Griffus, Kenneth Shield, Jr., of Guilford, was traveling west when he collided with a tractor trailer being driven east by Peter Doyle, of Spofford, N.H.

Griffus said Doyle was not injured in the crash.

Bucossi said Shield's vehicle bounced off the tractor trail and slid into a guardrail. The fire department had to use a truck-mounted winch to pull the pickup away from the guardrail before taking both doors and the roof off the vehicle's cab. Before they could remove Shield from the truck, firefighters also had to roll the dashboard back off his lower body, said Bucossi.

He was transported to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass. The press release stated he received serious injuries, and a spokesman from Baystate said he was in serious condition.

Route 9 was reopened at nine minutes after midnight, said Bucossi.

The crash was electronically documented by the Vermont State Police for the Brattleboro Police Department, which is conducting the official investigation. No conclusion has been reached at this time, said Griffus.

He also said the weather was clear at the time of the accident, but rain later in the evening slowed down the investigation, and the reopening of the road.

Traffic was backed up on Route 9 in both directions, with tractor trailer units basically stuck with no alternative routes east or west, said Bucossi.

Passenger vehicles from Brattleboro were diverted onto Sunset Lake Road to Pond Road and back onto Route 9 he said.

In addition to Engine 4, the fire department sent its rescue truck out of the Central Station on Elliot Street. Rescue, Inc., the Brattleboro Police Department, the Vermont State Police, the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles and the Agency of Natural Resources all responded to the scene, said Bucossi.

Bob Audette can be reached at raudette@reformer.com, or at 802-254-2311, ext. 160. Follow Bob on Twitter @audette.reformer.