KEITH WHITCOMB JR.
BENNINGTON -- A flower stand, mailboxes, and a drainage culvert were the things a North Carolina woman crashed into while allegedly driving around town under the influence of alcohol, according to police.
Abigail Fields, 32, of Arden, N.C., pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, careless or negligent vehicle operation, and two counts of leaving the scene of a crash with property damage. She was released under a $3,500 unsecured appearance bond and order not to drive or consume alcohol while the case is pending.
According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer Benjamin Lackey, on Aug. 10 at 5:59 a.m. he went to Price Chopper on Northside Drive, where it was reported someone had crashed into a flower stand before leaving the plaza, traveling down a one-way route heading toward North Bennington.
Lackey wrote that a three-tiered flower stand had been knocked over, flowers scattered, and a shopping cart tipped in the middle of the parking lot. He found a black piece of plastic he believed to have come off a car.
It was then reported that a car had crashed on Grandview Street in Shaftsbury. Thinking that was the vehicle he was looking for, Lackey went there and while on the way got another report of a car having hit mailboxes on North Bennington Road. Lackey met with the owner of the mailboxes who said he had not seen them hit. Lackey saw tire marks on the man’s lawn and found a car’s side mirror.
On the same day, Bennington Police and State Police were at the scene of the crash in Shaftsbury. According to an affidavit by Vermont State Trooper Elliot Justinger, a 2013 Toyota Camry being driven by Fields had crashed into a drainage culvert. Justinger said witness reported seeing Fields go through a stop sign without stopping, then veer off the road. He wrote that two "long neck" beer bottles were found in the car along with multiple prescription pill bottles.
Fields was taken to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center where she had blood drawn. Test results showed her blood-alcohol content was .151 percent at the time of the crash. Fields did not give a statement to police.
According to Lackey, the damage to the flower stand was valued at around $100, while the damage to the mailboxes totaled $50.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.