PHOTOS: Four vehicles in two separate side-by-side crashes shut down I-91 northbound in Norwich
Hour-long extrication effort to cut one of the drivers free of his car
NORWICH - Four people were hurt, a tractor trailer and a car ended up in the median, and two other cars went off the opposite side of the highway in what state police believe were actually two separate crashes that happened within moments of each other at 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon during a heavy downpour on Interstate 91.
The most seriously injured patients were in a car that slid nearly 75-yards down into a field a short distance above the bridges that span the Ompompanoosuc River at Mile Marker 79 northbound.
Firefighters from Norwich, Thetford and Hanover spent nearly an hour extricating the driver of the black Subaru who appeared to have sustained at least one broken leg among other injuries but, although he was seriously hurt, police said none of the injuries suffered by the four patients taken to the hospital appeared to be life-threatening.
Thursday evening the Vermont State Police said that the crash involving the two cars that went off the eastern side of the roadway began when Mark Bishop, 68, of Fairlee said he swerved to avoid another vehicle that had slowed or stopped ahead of him. Bishop told police he was in the southbound lanes at the time and lost control of his white 2015 Toyota Rav4 before he travelled clear across the median and collided with a black 2013 Subaru Impreza that was heading up the northbound side of the highway.
The front end of Bishop's vehicle was torn off but he sustained only minor injuries.
The Subaru which was being driven by Richard Manivanh, 30, of Fairlee sustained extensive damage, trapping him in the wreckage and injuring his two passengers Chaya Patel, 25, of Hanover and Brian North, 31, of Lebanon, both of whom were wearing their seatbelts, police said.
A tractor-trailer and a blue car with two occupants ended up in the median. No one was injured in the median crash.
On the opposite side of the roadway a white car and a black Subaru went off the edge, with the Subaru traveling down approximately 75 yards
Firefighters cut the roof off the car to access the driver who's legs were trapped underneath the steering wheel and dashboard
A patient from one of the cars was loaded onto one of three ambulances that responded to the scene
Firefighters rushed a large variety of hydraulic rescue tools down the steep embankment to the car
A firefighter readies a backboard as another cuts away the driver's side door with a hydraulic spreader tool
Norwich Fire Chief Alex Northern brings in a fire extinguisher as he gives orders at the scene
Firefighters get the driver out and rush him up the slope to a waiting ambulance
Traffic was backed up for over a mile while emergency crews worked for nearly three hours on the interstate
Vermont News can be contacted at email@example.com