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Vt. man accused of hitting friend with truck, leaving him to die

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 6:58 AM EDT|Updated: May. 12, 2022 at 6:36 PM EDT
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CRAFTSBURY, Vt. (WCAX) - Police say a drunken accident escalated to attempted murder when a Vermont man left his injured friend to die. Police say the scheme unraveled when the driver’s truck got stuck as he tried to flee.

Parker Clark, 20, of Craftsbury, is charged with second-degree attempted murder, gross negligent operation and DUI after a series of events Wednesday night in Orleans County involving Clark and his friend, Tyler Friend, 19, of Craftsbury.

“What we do have is a troubling series of events over the course of several hours,” Orleans County State’s Attorney Jennifer Barrett said.

That troubling series of events started at a boat launch in Greensboro. Vermont State Police say just before 10 p.m., Clark was driving drunk and doing doughnuts in the parking lot when he struck Friend with his truck, causing serious injuries.

Police say Clark then took Friend and drove to a remote cornfield on South Albany Road in Craftsbury in an alleged attempt to ditch Friend.

“The defendant loaded the victim into his car that he drove toward Craftsbury, the opposite direction of the nearest hospital. Then he drove into a cornfield, stopped his car at the wood line, took the victim out, drug him into a ravine and then attempted to leave him,” Barrett said.

Investigators say when Clark got into his vehicle and tried to leave, it got stuck in the mud. They say it was only then that Clark decided to call for help.

A short time later, police arrived at the scene, and Friend was airlifted to the UVM Medical Center in Burlington.

In court in Newport on Thursday, Clark pleaded not guilty to four felony charges, including second-degree attempted murder and gross negligent operation.

“Given the context of the affidavit and all of the information in here, we believe that it shows he intended to kill the victim in this case,” Barrett said.

Clark’s defense attorney, Lydia Newcome, asked the judge to release Clark into the custody of his mother. Newcome also asked-- based on Clark’s age and lack of criminal record-- that the case be referred to family court.

“Age is not just a number and intoxication levels for someone whose body cannot handle that can certainly have different effects and certainly the mental capacity of a youth is different than that of an adult,” Newcome said.

State’s Attorney Barrett says it would be concerning to her at this point to move the case to juvenile court but she won’t make that determination until the investigation is complete.

Barrett said, had he just taken Friend to the hospital, “A lot of these charges would be avoided, yes.”

Court paperwork says Clark’s blood alcohol content was between .095 and .105, just over the legal limit in Vermont.

The judge ordered Clark to be held without bail pending a weight of the evidence hearing.

As of Thursday afternoon, Friend was still in critical condition.

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