Bennington man arrested after crash at reservoir

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SOMERSET — Police arrested a Bennington man on Saturday for driving while intoxicated and negligent operation after crashing into a tree at the Somerset Reservoir.

Derek M. Billings, 23, was cited after Vermont State Police responded to a report of a vehicle into a tree at the reservoir around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. When they arrived on scene, troopers saw a Jeep Cherokee into a tree with damage to its front end.

After an investigation, police found that Billings, who said he was the driver of the Jeep, was "operating in a negligent manner by accelerating at such a rate, while purposely making the vehicle slide and go sideways," according to a VSP press release. Billings lost control of the vehicle, hitting a tree. Further investigation revealed that the vehicle had a registration that belonged on a different vehicle, no registration and no insurance, police said.

While being questioned, police said Billings showed signs of alcohol impairment. He was screened and taken into custody.

Billings is scheduled to appear in Bennington Superior Court, Criminal Division on July 6 at 8:15 a.m.

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