Monroe, NH driver shaken but not hurt
WEST WEATHERSFIELD, VT - A tired driver and a momentary distraction caused a 2016 Jeep Rubicon to ride up the side of a steep embankment on the edge of Route 131 before it crashed back down onto the pavement just beyond the intersection with Amsden School Road late Friday afternoon.
Michael Sabens, 37, of Monroe, New Hampshire was definitely shaken but not hurt following the 6:15 p.m. mishap in the tiny hamlet of Amsden which sits in the shadow of Mount Ascutney about a mile east of Downer's Four Corners.
"(Sabens) said he was distracted when he went to pick up a pack of cigarettes," Weathersfield Police Officer Larry Muldoon said. A few minutes later Sabens confirmed that version of events, saying that he'd been fatigued and felt like he'd briefly blacked out when he reached down. "After that I think I overcorrected," Sabens explained.
Weathersfield Police Officer Larry Muldoon interviews driver Michael Sabens of Monroe, NH
The 4-door Jeep hardtop crossed the opposite lane and then went almost a car length up the slanted grassy embankment next to the small state highway, tearing out large divots of dirt and scraping the undercarriage over a couple of small rock outcrops before the vehicle angled back down the slope toward the pavement and landed on the passenger side.
Sabens was able to step out through the broken roof moments later as several passing cars stopped to help at the scene.
A nearby resident said that she was getting used to having serious accidents in the so-called Amsden Curves on a semiannual basis, although she said the worst ones have tended to be in the wintertime.
Officer Muldoon said it did not appear to be anything more than a single-vehicle accident and he had no plans at the scene to issue tickets nor to file any criminal charges in connection with the mishap.
Ascutney Fire Chief Darrin Spaulding carries a bucket of drying agent to soak up spilled oil
A Golden Cross Ambulance crew briefly checked Sabens over to make sure he was really okay
Chief Spaulding plugged some small holes that were torn open on the undercarriage of the Jeep and noted that the driveshaft was snapped in two and the suspension was bent
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