Witnesses: Hartford driver may have fallen asleep
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - After hitting a signal light pole so hard that both of his headlights were sent sailing over a lane of traffic, a Hartford man managed to walk out of his totaled pickup truck at the intersection of Routes 4, 5, and 14 late Sunday afternoon.
James Lafont, 43, was transported to the hospital as a precaution by a Hartford Ambulance crew following the 5:20 p.m. accident but, aside from a visible bump on his head, he appeared to be largely unscathed as he talked with first responders and made a series of cellphone calls at the accident scene.
James Lafont, 43, of Hartford makes a phone call as first responders check him out after the crash
"This is not a DUI or anything like that," Hartford Police Officer Dan Solomita said at the scene after talking to witnesses on the opposite sidewalk who said it appeared to them that Lafont might have fallen asleep while he was headed westward on Maple Street (which is also Route 14) in front of the Coop.
Before Lafont reached the large intersection at the base of Schoolhouse Hill, he went clear across the eastbound lane and then drove head-on into one of the large silver poles that supports the traffic lights.
Solomita also noted that Lafont was clearly wearing his seatbelt and that, in additional to the full suite of airbags that deployed throughout the cab of his black Tacoma pickup truck, is undoubtedly what prevented him from being much more seriously injured.
Hartford Fire Captain David Shropshire arrives on scene
The pickup was headed right-to-left from the perspective of this photo and you can see the pole it hit on the right and both headlights where they landed in the median on the left
Firefighter Mitch White retrieves the headlights from the median of the Urban Bridge
White checks out the damage
Hartford Police Officers Thomas Howell (center) and Dan Solomita investigated the crash
Shropshire photographs the airbags
The impact was hard enough to gouge the pole and send the truck rebounding backward several feet
Vermont News can be contacted at email@example.com