Letter
June 15, 2016

The owner of a pet bull repeatedly turned a blind eye to public safety and animal protection

Dear Editor,

On July 31, 2015, at approximately 10:10 p.m. an 1,800-pound pet bull was standing in the darkness of the westbound lane of Route 4 in Killington. What was the bull doing there? To answer this and many other disturbing questions, residents, farmers, tourists and elected officials are encouraged to read the state’s “Notice of Intent to Offer Evidence of Other Crimes, Wrongs, Acts.”  This public document shares actual facts that are very different from what the public is being led to believe about a crash that killed my husband, Jon Michael Bellis.

Fact: shortly before 10 p.m. that night a milk truck driver had to lock up his brakes to avoid hitting a pet bull owned by Craig Mosher. Knowing the pet’s owner, the truck driver drove to the owner’s home, leaned on his air horn until the owner came to a window and told him his bull was standing on Route 4. When the owner did not come out, the truck driver drove further down Route 4 until he had cell service to call the police. The truck driver called the police at 9:58 p.m. At approximately10:10 p.m., my Subaru, traveling at approximately 35-40 mph, crashed into this massive beast as it stood in the middle of our travel lane on Route 4. My husband was pronounced dead at the scene, while I sat in the dark surrounded by air bags, broken glass and mangled metal. The owner of the bull then told the police at 10:37 p.m. that he did not go where the truck driver told him to go on Route 4, instead he chose to go back to sleep rather than actually looking on Route 4 and effectively restraining his animal.

Fact: the Vermont State Police have verified that Mosher’s bull was loose on or near Route 4 on May 19, 2013, June 20, 2015, June 23, 2015, June 26, 2015,  July 30, 2016 at approximately the same time at night, and twice on July 31, 2015. The State Police received two calls about a bull on Route 4 on the evening of July 31, 2015. They were minutes away when the second call came in at 10:13 p.m., but it was too late. My husband and best friend of 40 years was dead.

Fact: Mr. Mosher chose to repeatedly turn a blind eye towards  his animals and motorists on Route 4. The crash that took my husband’s life and the resulting criminal case has everything to do with extreme reckless conduct and gross negligence. It has nothing to do with farming, especially since Mr. Mosher is not a farmer. His bull was a pet, not a farm animal. The death of my husband may spark a discussion but it should be based upon facts. Repeatedly turning a blind eye on all beings, pet and public, is appropriately being handled by the State’s Attorney.

Kathryn Barry Bellis, Killington, Vt., and Woodbridge, Conn.

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