Sheriff's deputy injured while directing traffic on Western Avenue

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By Susan Smallheer

Brattleboro Reformer

BRATTLEBORO — A Windham County deputy sheriff was injured Monday afternoon while on traffic duty at the intersection of Western Avenue and the Interstate 91 southbound on ramp.

Kevin Turnley was directing traffic when he was struck by a commercial vehicle, according to Capt. Mark Anderson of the Windham County Sheriff's Department

Anderson said that Turnley received an injury to his leg. He said that Turnley has worked for the sheriff's department for the past two years. Previously, Turnley was the police chief in Vernon.

Anderson said Turnley was taken to the emergency room at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and was about to undergo surgery Monday afternoon.

Brattleboro Police investigated the accident, and Capt. Mark Carignan, who did not identify Turnley, said the deputy sustained a serious injury, but that it wasn't life threatening. "He's definitely going to survive."

Carignan said that Cezar Julio Mafort of Danbury, Conn., was the operator of the truck pulling a car hauler, which collided with Turnley. He said that Mafort was turning left onto the Interstate 91 southbound ramp. He said that the accident remained under investigation.

Western Avenue was reduced to alternating one-lane traffic for about an hour after the accident, which occurred at 1:42 p.m.

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One resident, who lives close to the accident scene, said he didn't see the collision, but saw the deputy lying on the roadway.

Joe Millet said he looked out his window and saw the officer in the road.

"I was talking to him earlier, he likes my dogs," said Millet, who said the deputy told him he worked traffic control in the same general area last summer. Millet said it took the Brattleboro rescue crews about four to five minutes to respond.

"I expected them sooner because it was a police officer," said Millet.

Anderson said the deputy, who has worked for the department for about two years, was working as part of the traffic control crew for Lafayette Construction, which is doing finish-up work for an interstate project, installing signs and similar work. Anderson said the incident was being investigated by the Brattleboro Police Department.

Brattleboro police were assisted by the Vermont State Police, the Windham County Sheriff's Department, the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, Rescue Inc., and Brattleboro Fire Department.

Photographer Krisopher Radder contributed to this report.

Contact Susan Smallheer at ssmallheer@reformer.com or at 802 254-2311, ext. 154.


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