KEITH WHITCOMB JR.
BENNINGTON -- Police have determined that the driver of a motorcycle was at fault in the June 8 crash that killed him and injured a woman driving another vehicle.
According to police, Gavin Briggs, 28, of Mason Hill Road in Pownal, was traveling north on Dewey Street at 7:45 a.m. when he collided with a van being driven by Lorraine Baker, 60, of Bennington. Baker was turning into Dewey Street from Weeks Street, police said, and was nearly through the intersection when Briggs collided with her.
Briggs was treated by the Bennington Rescue Squad and taken to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Baker was also taken there, and then transferred to Albany Medical Center in New York with serious injuries.
Bennington Police Lt. Lloyd Dean said Monday that an accident reconstruction was completed by Officer Roscoe Harrington, who determined that Briggs' speed at the time of the crash was at least 56 mph. The posted speed limit there is 30 mph.
Dean said an autopsy showed Briggs' blood-alcohol content was .092 percent, which is over the legal limit of .08 percent. The autopsy also showed Fentanyl was in Briggs' system, but according to Dean the drug was administered to him at the crash scene by the rescue squad. Fentanyl is a narcotic pain medication.
Dean said alcohol and speed are considered to be the main factors in the crash. "Had he been going the posted limit, he would have been able to stop in time," Dean said.
Baker will not be charged or issued traffic citations, the officer said.
Police said Briggs was on his way to Water Street in North Bennington, where he worked..
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