BENNINGTON -- Police said a Pownal man who had crashed his vehicle 20 feet off the road first apologized to them for parking in the middle of the road, then said he was late to pitch a game at the World Series.

Anthony W. Barbiero, 35, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to aggravated vehicle operation without the owner's consent, careless or negligent vehicle operation, and driving under the influence of a drug.

According to Vermont State Trooper Robert Zink, on Nov. 2 at 1:58 p.m. he responded to a crash on Cedar Hill Road in Pownal. The car was 20 feet down an embankment, partially overturned, and resting against a tree. It had sustained heavy front end damage in excess of $3,000. Barbiero was in the front seat and apologized for being parked in the road, then said he was late to pitch at the World Series.

A bag containing marijuana fell out of his pocket along with several tablets of Tramadol, a prescription pain reliever that is not considered a controlled substance.

Barbiero took a breath test and had no alcohol in his system, however he showed signs of drug influence. Police thought some of his behavior could be explained by his head apparently having struck the vehicle's windshield, but a friend of his who arrived on scene after hearing Barbiero's name over the scanner said he had been at his house earlier and was acting strangely.

Barbiero was taken to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center for treatment where a sample of his blood was taken and tested. The results indicated he was under the influence of drugs.

The vehicle he was driving belongs to his mother, and according to his father he was directly told not to take it.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at kwhitcomb@benningtonbanner.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.