Driver walks away from 40 mph rear-end collision in WRJ
Police issued ticket for following too close
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT - A local resident was injured slightly but still able to get himself out of his minivan after he rear-ended a large pickup at the intersection of Route 5 and Sykes Mountain Avenue shortly before 1 p.m. on Easter Sunday.
Jason Wilbur, 45, of Hartland was transported by Hartford Ambulance to the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center for evaluation after he slammed into the trailer hitch on the back of the black truck driven by Leland Barker, 54, of Grantham, New Hampshire at an estimated 40 miles per hour.
Wilbur's minivan was totaled by the impact but police said he emerged largely unscathed because he was wearing his seat belt and his airbags deployed.
The police officer investigating the crash said that Wilbur was coming up the hill from the village of White River Junction but as he approached the intersection near the McDonald's restaurant he apparently did not realize that the light had turned red and Barker had come to a full stop ahead right ahead of him.
"(Wilbur) said he thought he had a green light to go straight through the intersection before he looked at something off to his left and became distracted and so he never even touched the brakes," Hartford Police Officer Sean Fernandes explained at the scene.
Neither Barker nor his passenger, Maureen Warren, were hurt.
Wilbur, a veteran who works at the nearby VA Medical Center, was issued a ticket for "following too close" since he should have maintained situational awareness of the lane ahead of him while approaching the intersection, Officer Fernandes said.
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