A Vermont man died and Interstate 89 was closed for several hours last Friday morning after a head-on collision.
State police said that at about 6:50 a.m. on Aug. 23, Bruce Devenger, 48, of Sheffield was driving south in Richmond when his 2015 Dodge Ram pickup drifted into the center median and was launched into the air, striking a 2012 Ford F-350 pickup driven by Kendall Roberts, 55, of Barre.
A passenger in Devenger’s vehicle, Michael O’Neil, 72, of Sheffield, was seriously injured, as was Roberts. The three men were taken to UVM Medical Center in Burlington, where Devenger was pronounced dead.
Roberts’ condition was reported as good by press time; O’Neil had been discharged.
According to police, alcohol, inattention and speed are believed to have contributed to the crash.
The incident forced the closure of I-89 for several hours in both directions as emergency responders and police responded to the scene. Other responders included police, fire and rescue personnel from Richmond, Williston, Bolton, UVM, the Vermont DMV and more.
The incident led to a second crash; according to police, 60-year-old George Eaddy of Peekskill, N.Y. was driving north on I-89 when his 2017 Kenworth Tractor-trailer rear-ended a 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan driven by Patrick Parks, 59, of Burlington. The collision pushed both vehicles into the center median, just missing the first responders on the scene. Parks was taken to UVM Medical Center with what police called non-life-threatening injuries. An update on Parks’ condition was not available at press time.
Police also said there was nearly a third crash at the scene. John Legault, 50, of St. Albans was driving south when police said he nearly struck a parked police cruiser at the scene. Police charged Legault with careless or negligent operation and imposed nine points on his license and a $775 fine.
The crash is still under investigation, and anyone who witnessed it is requested to call Trooper Adam Marchand at 802-878-7111.