Lebanon couple walk away with only minor injuries
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - A Lebanon woman ended up with a traffic ticket on Sunday for failing to yield the right-of-way to an on-coming motorcycle following a collision at the base of Schoolhouse Hill which knocked a Lebanon couple off of their motorcycle, sending a woman to the hospital for stitches.
The relatively benign outcome of the crash was described as "lucky" by police officers who said they'd seen much more serious injuries result from lesser impacts.
"We've had a number of collisions at this same location and it's a shame really but the placement of the lights sometimes catches people out," said Hartford Patrol Officer Simon Keeling, who investigated the crash over the noon hour.
Keeling said the motorcycle was headed east past the Coop on Maple Street (which is also Route 14) and, when it reached the intersection of Routes 4, 5, and 14, the car, which had been headed west on Maple moments beforehand, turned to go up the steep hill.
"The traffic turning left must yield but there isn't a light dedicated to left-turners for people going east on Maple," Officer Keeling noted.
The driver of the Harley Davidson Wide Glide motorcycle, who identified himself just as "Ralph," said he realized a half-second before the impact that he couldn't steer past the rapidly turning car and so "I launched myself and tried to roll with the impact." He sustained a small patch of road rash on his back and said his girlfriend was being transported for a few stitches to her leg.
"I was angry and right after it happened I ran up to (the other driver)," Ralph recalled, "She was on the phone then and I asked her what she was doing and she said `You came out of nowhere!'"
"It's not the motorcyclists. It's other people," he said, shaking his head.
Moments after the impact over the noon hour on Sunday (Kim Souza Photo)
Pieces of the car ended up on a median strip at the edge of the intersection
Hartford firefighters help the injured woman onto a stretcher and carry her past her motorcycle (below) to the ambulance
Hartford Police Officer Simon Keeling interviews the driver of the white car
Keeling and Sgt. Jay Pedro examine a motorcycle helmet on the sidewalk. The flowers on the right memorialize a fatal motorcycle accident that took place at the same intersection several years ago.
Keeling talks with the driver of the Harley Davidson Wide Glide motorcycle who suffered only a bit of road rash
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