KEITH WHITCOMB JR., Staff Writer
BENNINGTON -- A member of the Bennington Rural Fire Department is facing a misdemeanor charge stemming from a crash police said he caused when he pulled a department brush truck in front of an oncoming motorcycle, severely injuring the rider.
Gregg L. Barr, 22, of Bennington, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to a misdemeanor count of careless or negligent vehicle operation. He was released on conditions that he appear in court when scheduled and not drive a vehicle without a valid license.
According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer Thomas Bull, on Nov. 18 at 5:19 p.m. he was dispatched to the BRFD’s West Road Station on Route 9 for a reported crash. There he found Kimberly Hathaway of Bennington lying underneath her motorcycle in a pool of gasoline. He turned off the motorcycle’s headlight to prevent a fire and learned from her that she had collided with a brush truck.
The brush truck is a one-ton dual wheel vehicle with a utility body for carrying firefighting gear. Police later determined that Hathaway suffered a broken pelvis, an open fracture to her knee, and burns to her foot from the motorcycle’s muffler. She had lost her footwear in the crash, resulting in the burn. Her motorcycle was totaled.
Bull said it appeared that the brush truck driver, Barr, was planning to turn across the left lane into the station’s driveway, but pulled in front of Hathaway when he did so. Barr first told police he did not see the motorcycle, but then said he saw its headlight and tried to accelerate into the driveway to avoid a collision.
Police determined that Hathaway was driving under the posted speed limit. Barr has a corrective lens restriction on his license, which requires him to wear contact lenses or glasses when driving. Barr said he was not wearing either at the time of the crash.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.