PHOTOS: Camper rolls over at Exit 16

Connecticut couple sent to the hospital

BRADFORD, VT -  Gusty winds may have played a roll in a noon time crash at the north end of Exit 16 on Interstate 91 that sent a Connecticut couple to the hospital with moderate injuries.

    Friends and family members were traveling in a multi-vehicle convoy with Stephen and Heather Fisher of Torrington, Connecticut on Monday morning as the couple pulled a large tow-along camper down the southbound lane of the interstate following a Labor Day weekend camping trip to Littleton, New Hampshire.

    Brothers Matt and Brett Fisher said they were following behind their parents when the camper passed over an arched overpass bridge on the highway and entered a downhill stretch leading to the off-ramp.  That segment of the highway essentially transitions from a pass between two hills into a river valley and there were notable gusts of winds coming down the length of it over the noon hour.

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    "It started at the bridge when the camper fishtailed and swung and then exploded," across the median, Matt Fisher recalled, "It was a great trip and we had a good time but this was unexpected."

    "Luckily the trailer broke off when it started wiggling and it didn't drag the car along with it," Brett Fisher added.

    The pair estimated the initial vehicle speed at about 60 mph an hour but said their father appeared to tap the brakes several times before the SUV the couple and their three dogs were riding in arced into the median, cut a large gouge out of the grass-covered slope and then skipped sideways through the air several car-lengths before landing hard on all four wheels while the camper rolled across the guardrail and ripped open behind them.

    "One of the dogs jumped right out, one was getting held in a death grip by my mom, she was not letting go, and Sparky was probably sleep in the back," Matt Fisher said, noting that all three dogs were okay and were quickly put into a friend's vehicle.

    "I think my mom broke her ankle and my dad dislocated his shoulder and hit his head," Matt Fisher said, adding, "He said he was alright but I think he's in shock."

    The couple were both transported in an single Upper Valley Ambulance to the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center with what state troopers at the scene described as non-life-threatening injuries.

    "They were banged up but they'll be alright," Brett Fisher said.

    Matt Fisher said it appeared that the unexpected change in wind conditions may have been what tipped the camper off the highway.  

    "It was probably from coming around that corner and the way the wind hits here.  It just sent it," Fisher speculated.

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