"Right after I hit
the Milton exit it was just a standstill," Michael Grubb said.
Grubb couldn't believe his
morning commute from St. Albans to his job in South Burlington Tuesday morning
took two hours longer than the usual 35 minutes.
"It was a
nightmare," he said. "Much, much worse. Horrible."
A chain-reaction crash on
Interstate 89 near exit 15 Monday night was the reason why. The accident sent a
tractor-trailer careening off the bridge over the Winooski River.
"It's a 50-foot drop.
The operator was found alive below by rescue responders," Vt. State Police
Lt. Jim Whitcomb said.
Truck driver Dany
Gauthier, 37, of Sainte Ann de Sabrevois, Quebec, was taken to the hospital in
critical condition. The three other drivers were not seriously hurt.
investigation indicates the weather did play a role in the accident,"
It was raining heavily,
causing water to pool on the road. The Vermont State Police crash
reconstruction team is investigating.
Police say the
chain-reaction crash should act as a reminder to drivers, as these sudden
summer storms are expected all week.
"Motorists need to
slow down," Whitcomb said. "Obviously the visibility starts to go
away with the heavy rains. There can be pooling water on the roads. That can
lead to hydroplaning."
Wind-blown debris can also
cause dangers. Police say slow speeds will help.
The crash Monday night
initially closed the interstate for hours. VTrans opened one lane of the
three-lane road Tuesday as the truck was removed. Crews opened a second lane as
they continued to work on the damaged bridge. Officials replaced 200 feet of
guardrail, but say the bridge itself is safe for drivers. And Tuesday those
drivers got stuck in a traffic nightmare. This is one of the busiest spots in
"It is not easy to
reroute traffic during an emergency situation. They did the best they could
with the situation they had," said Dave Blackmore of VTrans.
VTrans says rerouting
interstate traffic here, including tractor-trailers, could cause dangerous
bottlenecks in smaller towns and cities.
"We have got to be
careful that we are not getting them on streets where they are going to cause
problems or endanger themselves or the traveling public," Blackmore said.
But drivers, like Michael
Grubb, say the state needs a better plan.
"I don't think they
did anything," Grubb said. "I think they ignored the problem and
didn't try to mitigate the issues at all."
VTrans says it will review
the closure to decide if it could have done more to help with the traffic
trouble, and says it will warn drivers through social media, signage and 511
when they're back to do more concrete work. That will happen between 10 a.m.
and 2 p.m.
Police say the tractor-trailer was hauling paper from Quebec to Massachusetts.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:52 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:52:17 GMT
The Stowe Police Department is currently investigating the untimely death of two adults. Stowe Police responded to 262 Cady Hill Road at 4:38 p.m. and discovered deceased individuals. The Stowe PoliceMore >>
The Stowe Police Department is currently investigating the untimely death of two adults.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:49 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:49:04 GMT
Major flaws were uncovered in the Burlington School Budget that failed at the polls. An audit has discovered that the district was making huge errors when budgeting for next year. What this means, is thatMore >>
Major flaws were uncovered in the Burlington School Budget that failed at the polls. An audit has discovered that the district was making huge errors when budgeting for next year.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:53:47 GMT
Teamwork between a Montgomery farmer and a corporal with the Franklin Country sheriff's department may have saved a life when they pulled off a daring rescue. A woman became trapped in her truck tryingMore >>
It was a lifesaving rescue in the nick of time. A Franklin County sheriff's deputy put his life on the line to save a woman trapped in a truck with floodwaters raging around her. More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:00:55 GMT
After this week's whirlwind weather events and major flooding Tuesday, Governor Shumlin (D-Vermont), VTrans and state transportation officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the aftermath. ShumlinMore >>
After this week's whirlwind weather events and major flooding Tuesday, Governor Shumlin, VTrans and state transportation officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the aftermath.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:02 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:02:05 GMT
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York. The governor made the declaration Tuesday night. It covers six counties in northeastern of New York, including two inMore >>
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:21 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:21:46 GMT
A body found near the North Hartland Dam appears to be that of a missing man from New Hampshire. Michael Hayward, 42, of Sunapee, disappeared two months ago. His car was found near the Quechee Gorge. PoliceMore >>
A body found near the North Hartland Dam appears to be that of a missing man from New Hampshire.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:14:24 GMT
Authorities say six people managed to escape a house fire in Plattsburgh Tuesday morning. First responders say when they arrived at 42 Smith Street, the house was completely engulfed in flames. CityMore >>
Authorities say six people managed to escape a house fire in Plattsburgh Tuesday morning. Police say the blaze was sparked by a child playing with a lighter.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:07:50 GMT
Police in Haverhill, N.H., say they got numerous calls about a young child walking down a road alone. They found the child about a mile from her home. She was brought back to the residence, but the NewMore >>
Police in Haverhill, N.H., say they found a young child alone about a mile from her home.More >>