UPDATED: Bridgewater man receives "multiple tickets"
QUECHEE, VT - Three vehicles, including a 35-foot tow-along camper, were involved in a collision on Route 4 just east of the former Scotland-By-The-Yard store shortly after noon on Sunday, causing over four hours' worth of significant traffic delays in both directions while police and large tow trucks sorted out the mess.
"The first vehicle had a broken tie-rod, by the sound of it, and lost control," Hartford Police Officer Sean Fernandes noted at the scene.
That small blue Subaru, which was occupied by driver Christopher Flynn, 21, of Bridgewater and two passengers, had been headed west when it abruptly veered across the double-yellow center line and struck the front corner of the camper that was being towed by a New Hampshire couple in a large pickup truck.
The impact knocked one of the rear axles completely off the bottom, causing the rear section of the camper to drop straight down onto the east bound lane, blocking it entirely, and a second later the blue Subaru tore the rear bumper completely off a red Buick belonging to a North Carolina couple who'd been right behind the camper.
The blue car then travelled straight over a sharp drop off on the edge of pavement where it ended up essentially bridging the gap to a steep rising embankment by burying its nose into the slope.
The driver of the red Buick, Harry Curtis of Statesville, North Carolina said there was nothing he could do as the accident rapidly unfolded before him.
"I don't know what happened. I could see the guy as he started across and he hit the camper ahead of me. I pulled over as far as I could but he kept coming," Curtis recalled, "I thought he'd pull back into his lane but he kept coming and got me too and I'm glad the guy behind me wasn't right up tight."
Curtis said from his vantage it appeared that there was actually a double-impact upon the side of the long camper.
"I think he clipped the front end first and then came all the way back and knocked the end right out," Curtis said.
Driver John Sheppard of Raymond, New Hampshire looks over his damaged tow-along camper
Two of the young men in the blue car sustained what appeared to be minor cuts and were checked over by a Hartford Ambulance crew but declined transport.
After all of the vehicles had been picked up and normal traffic flow restored shortly after 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Officer Fernandes said while his investigation determined that "nothing criminal" had transpired and the accidents could be traced back to defective wheel bearings that led to the tie rod suddenly snapping and sending the Subaru into a sharp left-hand turn, Flynn was issued "multiple tickets" as a result.
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