Monday December 24, 2012

ZEKE WRIGHT

Staff Writer

WOODFORD -- Authorities reported a number of motor vehicle accidents in the area attributable to slippery road conditions, the worst of which sent two Searsburg residents to the hospital with complaints of neck and head pain.

In a written release state police reported an accident Friday evening on Route 9 in Woodford involving multiple vehicles. The incident was called in at approximately 6:21 p.m., after police said 37-year-old Heather Abbott of Searsburg lost control of her eastbound 1998 Ford Explorer around a slight corner as a result of icy conditions.

Abbott and her passenger, Shawn Cromack, 38, also of Searsburg, were subsequently transported to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center by Bennington and Pownal rescue squads as a precautionary measure. Police said a chain of events resulted in a second vehicle off the road in the same area after a third passing motorist stopped to check on Abbott's accident.

Searsburg resident Cassandra Kilbride, 26, was driving west toward Bennington according to police when she came across the accident and steered to avoid the stopped responding vehicle. Kilbride lost control of her 2003 Subaru Legacy, which went off the road and received extensive undercarriage damage as a result of hitting a boulder protruding from the ground. There were no injuries reported from Kilbride or two other passengers, and police said occupants of both vehicles were wearing seatbelts. Road conditions at the time were icy and a major factor in both crashes, police said. Bennington Rural Fire Department assisted along with a deputy from the Bennington County Sheriff's Department.

That morning at approximately 6:47 a.m., police received a report of another accident on Route 9 in Woodford. In that incident, police reported Kimberly Lacroix of Bennington lost control of her vehicle in snowy conditions, causing the 2004 Toyota to cross the center line and hit an embankment. No injuries were reported and the vehicle received moderate front-end damage.

Police report multiple crashes next day

On Saturday morning, police were called to the scene of an accident on Route 7A in Shaftsbury. In that incident, police said 27-year-old Shawn Haseman of Shaftsbury had been traveling along when he lost control in icy conditions, overturning his Toyota FJ Cruiser on its drivers side in the southbound lane of traffic. Haseman did not suffer injury and was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, which police said one of several that occurred because of winter weather. Police said roadway conditions were a contributing cause but that the case remained under investigation.

Police received an additional report of an accident in Pownal on Route 7 Saturday at about 4 p.m. Conditions were reported to be snow/ice covered at the time that Bernard E. Blair Jr., 52, of Bennington, lost control of his 2005 Ford Explorer. Blair told police he had been traveling north when his vehicle fishtailed and slid off the road. Blair was uninjured but his vehicle sustained moderate damage.

State police said they were reminding the public to slow down, and that although snow tires are good in snow, they do not help in icy conditions.