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BENNINGTON — A Bennington woman on Sunday night fled the scene of a two-car crash on Route 7 South, according to the Bennington Police Department.

Police said Nina Keus, 40, of Bennington, was driving a Buick Rendezvous southbound on Route 7 when the vehicle crossed the centerline and struck the front and passenger sides of a Chevrolet Silverado truck headed the opposite way.

The Rendezvous operated by Keus “rolled and went down an embankment where it came to a position of uncontrolled rest,” according to a news release from the department. The Silverado sustained “extensive front-end damage and passenger side damage.”

Keus fled the scene before police responded to the scene around 5:45 p.m., according to police.

“Officers learned Keus was flagging vehicles down and asking for a ride,” according to the release. “An unknown person, operating a silver truck with a snowmobile in the back, allowed Keus to get in the vehicle and removed her from the scene.”

Keus’ current location is not known, according to police. She couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Police said that when Keus is located, she will be processed for charges of negligent operation of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of a crash and violation of release conditions that stem from a prior case.

That case dates to May 2, 2020, when Keus allegedly drove a vehicle without its owner’s permission and led police on a high-speed chase on Route 7 from Manchester to Shaftsbury.

Charges related to that previous incident of eluding a law enforcement officer, operating a vehicle without its owner’s consent, driving under the influence after having been convicted of the same charge twice before and driving at an excessive speed remain pending against Keus, according to Deputy State’s Attorney Alex Burke, who declined to otherwise comment on the case.

Keus’ conditions of release in the May 2020 case forbade her from driving any motor vehicle, according to Bennington police and court papers.

The attorney listed in an online court calendar as representing Keus in the May 2020 case did not immediately respond to an email on Monday.

A notification from VT-ALERT issued at 6:42 p.m. on Sunday said that a stretch of Route 7 near the Bennington-Pownal boundary line was closed “due to downed power lines.” A subsequent alert at 7:24 p.m. indicated that the road had reopened.

Luke Nathan can be reached at lnathan@benningtonbanner.com.


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