Police investigate hit-and-runs after party

Saturday November 3, 2012

BRATTLEBORO -- Troopers from the Vermont State Police are investigating a number of hit-and-run incidents involving people who were attending a party on Merrifield Road in Whitingham on Oct. 27.

"At this point we believe there were multiple vehicles involved in striking pedestrians," said Vermont State Trooper Nader Hashim. "We are continuing the investigation and trying to identify any other suspects that were involved in any hit-and-run incidents involving other party-goers."

At approximately 2 a.m. that night, the Vermont State Police responded to the location to a report of an assault at a party. According to a press release, numerous witnesses said a fight happened involving a number of people.

Police learned that one person, driving a mini-van, struck two people before fleeing the scene. On Nov. 1, troopers identified the driver as Heather Marie Birmingham, 35, of Brattleboro. She was cited for negligent operation of a vehicle resulting in personal injury and leaving the scene of a crash. She was ordered to appear in Windham Superior Court Criminal Division on Dec. 4.

Police also learned that following the party on Oct. 27, three other motor vehicle operators crashed their vehicles. Those accidents are still under investigation.

However, one crash that occurred at I-91 Exit 3 resulted in injuries to three passengers, one of whom was transported to Dartmouth Hitchcock Memorial Hospital in Lebanon, N.H. The other two were transported to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital where they were treated and released.

Though the status of the passenger transferred to Dartmouth is unknown at this time, Hashim said he suffered numerous fractures.

Police learned that the driver of the vehicle was Michael Angelo Locascio, 17, of Jacksonville. He was arrested for driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident. He was ordered to appear in court on Nov. 20.

According to police, there were six passengers in Locascio's Jeep Liberty at the time of the accident and none were wearing seatbelts.

"We have had a lot of enforcement in the past to insure that people are wearing their seatbelts and we are going to continue to aggressively enforce that law to insure that people are safe while they drive," said Hashim.

He also said that there are indications that a number of underage individuals were among the 30 to 50 people who were consuming alcohol at the party.

Anyone who might have information is urged to call Hashim at 802-254-2382 or text CRIMES and use keyword VTIPS. Information can also be reported at www.vtips.info.

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


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