BENNINGTON -- A Pownal teen who police said crashed into two houses on Union Street three weeks ago while under the influence of marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms went before a judge Monday.
Marcien L. Roy, 18, of Sparrow Way, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment, reckless or gross negligent vehicle operation, and driving under the influence of a drug. He was released on conditions that he not drive or possess regulated drugs without a valid prescription.
According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer Benjamin Lackey, on Oct. 8 at 1:14 a.m. police responded to a crash at 259 Union Street where a 2004 GMC Yukon had gone through the porch of 259 and hit the house at 257 Union St.
Bennington Police Sgt. Camillo Grande was the first to arrive at the scene. He said the driver, Roy, was inside the vehicle and had moved to the passenger side. Grande asked Roy what had happened, to which Roy responded, "So many drugs ... alcohol ... marijuana"
Roy had difficulty answering questions posed to him by police. He had a scrape on his elbow and refused medical attention. He was found to be in possession of a marijuana grinder with a small amount of marijuana in it. A preliminary breath test showed Roy had not consumed any alcohol, but Vermont State Trooper Jesse Robson, a certified drug recognition expert, was summoned to evaluate Roy.
According to Robson, Roy was extremely impaired from the use of hallucinogens and marijuana. He wrote in his affidavit that while at the Bennington Police Station, Roy took a full minute to sign his name on a form and would stare in apparent disbelief at his own hands while flexing them.
"I would watch him track invisible objects through the air with his eyes. He would stare in shock at his own reflection in the one-way window in the processing room" wrote Robson. Communicating with Roy was difficult, as he seemed to have trouble keeping track of where he was or what had happened.
At the crash scene, Roy told Bennington Police he had left his friend's house on Pleasant Street, and that his friend had tried to prevent him from leaving because he had eaten hallucinogenic mushrooms. Roy told police the mushrooms had made him "freak out," so he had to smoke marijuana to calm down.
Police estimated the damage to the houses at $75,000. The house at 259 Union St. was declared uninhabitable until it could be inspected and the Red Cross provided shelter for the occupants, who were not injured.
David and Marian Wohlsen, residents of 259 Union St., told the Banner on Oct. 9 that they were able to return to the back part of their home after it was inspected. A banner was hung on a Dumpster in their yard over the weekend by members of the community expressing support for the Wohlsens.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.