BENNINGTON -- A New York man is facing a felony charge after he hit another car stopped at an intersection in Winhall while he was going 56 mph.
John S. Winne, 59, of Feura Bush, N.Y., pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to a felony count of gross or negligent vehicle operation resulting in serious injury. He was released on the condition he appear at future court dates.
According to an affidavit by Winhall Police Officer Anthony Carroccio, on Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. he and another officer were dispatched to a car crash at the intersection of Bromley Knolls Road and Route 11. There they found a 2009 GMC Envoy owned and operated by Winne. He was uninjured and was walking around the crash scene, which also involved a 2010 Honda Civic which had been operated by Kelly Lazzaro, who was trapped in the car along with Margaret Carney.
Lazzaro was fading in and out of consciousness, and there was blood in the car. Carney was also shaken up, wrote Carroccio.
Lazzaro had been stopped at the intersection of Route 11 and Bromley Knolls Road and was signaling to turn left. Police knew these because of how the rear signal lights had been damaged in the crash. When one is blinking and suffers a shock, such as the car being hit, it twists. The other blinker was not twisted.
Winne told police he had been blinded by the sun and went to get his sunglasses. He put them back on to see Lazzaro’s vehicle in front of him. He guessed he was going 40 mph and never applied his brakes.
Carroccio wrote that Lazzaro’s vehicle had been knocked 120 feet from where it had been hit, spun 180 degrees, and flipped onto its roof.
Data collected from a computer in Winne’s airbag showed his vehicle was going 56 mph when the airbag deployed. The posted speed limit there is 50 mph.
Lazzaro was taken to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire by a Dartmouth-Hitchcock Advanced Response Team helicopter.
Carney was transported to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington by the Londonderry Rescue Squad.
Police said Lazzaro suffered a broken nose, broken wrist, a concussion, lacerations, and possible brain bleeding. Carney had lacerations and contusions, while Winne was not injured.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.