On August 27, 2015

Sun glare, rubber-necking result in multi-car crash

Drivers reminded to yield, slow down when approaching emergency scenes

RUTLAND TOWN—On Wednesday, Aug. 19, at about 4:30 p.m., the Vermont State Police responded to Route 7 just south of Carriage Run Road in the Town of Rutland for a report of a single-car accident. The police found a motor vehicle had rolled over just prior to their arrival. Investigation found that 40-year-old Melissa Norris of Starksboro, Vt., was driving her 2010 Nissan Altima north on Route 7 when, she reported, glare from the sun blocked her vision. This led Norris to believe that another car was entering her lane traveling south, so she moved her vehicle to the right. Subsequently, her vehicle went off the road and down an embankment and continued for about 230 feet before it struck a group of trees. Norris was taken by ambulance to the Rutland Regional Medical Center for an injured hand and wrist.

Sidney Korda of the Vergennes Area Rescue Squad and Shawn Hendee of the Pittsford Fire Department happened to be driving by. They stopped to render assistance and Korda pulled off the road and activated the red lights and four way emergency flashers on his 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee. While the rescuers were tending to Norris, another driver, 44-year-old Terrence Bassette of Brandon, Vt., slowed his vehicle to look at the initial crash and rear ended/side-swiped Korda’s Jeep which was parked on the shoulder. Bassette’s vehicle, a 2004 Honda Element, rolled over onto the roadway and landed on its driver’s side.

Bassette was able to climb out of his vehicle under his own power. Korda and Hendee provided medical assistance to Bassette, who suffered scrapes and bruises and was transported by ambulance to the Rutland Regional Medical Center.

Both Bassette and Norris were wearing seatbelts, preventing more serious injuries. All vehicles had to be towed from the scene due to disabling damage.

Members of the Rutland Town Fire Department, Pittsford Fire Department, and Regional Ambulance Service were summoned to the scene.

The crash remains under investigation.

Anyone who may have observed the crash is asked to contact Trooper Aron McNeil at the Rutland Barracks by calling 802-773-9101.

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