Bennington man killed in Sunday morning crash

POWNAL — A 22-year-old Shaftsbury firefighter was killed Sunday morning when his car left Route 7 and struck a tree, state police said.

Police said Shelby Coon, of Bennington, was driving north on Route 7 when his 2017 Honda Civic crossed over the center line and continued in the southbound lane for some distance, before travelling off the shoulder of the roadway near the intersection of Route 7 and Peaks Pine Road.

State police were notified of the crash around 7 a.m. Coon was pronounced dead at the scene. No other vehicles were involved in the crash, police said.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, but police said speed is considered a contributing factor. The weather was clear, and the road was wet, according to police. Coon's body was transported to the Medical Examiner's Office in Burlington for an autopsy, to determine the exact cause of death.

Police shut down that section of Route 7 for about 2 1/2 hours and diverted traffic while the scene was processed. State Police were assisted on scene by Pownal Town Fire Department, Bennington Fire Department, Bennington rescue, and Bennington Police Department.

Coon was a 2014 graduate of Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington, and graduated from Vermont Technical College with a degree in fire science in the spring of 2017, a school official confirmed. According to Coon's Facebook page, he had been an intern at South Burlington Fire Local 3671 before graduating from Vermont Tech and joining the Shaftsbury Fire Department as a firefighter/EMT.

The crash occurred at the same location as a Feb. 1 accident that claimed the life of a 21-year-old Pownal man. Robert G. Dross died when his 2002 Volkswagen Jetta collided with a 2013 Subaru Outback, according to Vermont State Police.

Coon's obituary appears on Page A3.


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