Crash on Route 7 kills Rutland woman
By Brent Curtis
STAFF WRITER | November 27,2012
A crash on an icy bridge on Route 7 killed a Rutland City woman Monday morning.
Donna M. Arnado, 43, was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency crews that responded to a crash near the Williams Farm in Rutland Town north of Rutland City just before 7 a.m.
Vermont State Police say Arnado was driving north in her 2002 Chevrolet Tracker when she crossed an ice-coated bridge and lost control of her vehicle. The car spun into the southbound lane and was struck by a 2004 GMC pickup driven by John M. Thomas, 54, of Rutland Town. Police say Thomas’ ribs were bruised during the crash and he was taken to Rutland Regional Medical Center.
Excessive speed, drugs and alcohol were ruled out as factors in the crash, which remains under investigation, police said.
But state police Lt. Charles Cacciatore, commander of the Rutland barracks, said the vehicle may have been traveling too fast for the conditions Monday morning, which included freezing temperatures and light snow cover in some areas.
“Sometimes driving at the posted speed limit is going to fast if the conditions are bad,” Cacciatore said. “We had a couple other crashes today all around the same time. Most of the crashes we get during bad weather conditions occur because people don’t adjust their speed based on conditions.”
And while the roads may not have had ice on them Monday morning, bridges, like the one just south of Williams Farm, freeze up before other road surfaces.
With a month remaining, 2012 is on pace to be a deadlier year than most on the state’s roadways.
In three years from 2008 to 2010, 71 to 73 people died annually on Vermont highways. In 2011 only 54 people were killed in crashes.
As of Monday, 72 people have died in crashes in 2012.
With winter conditions ahead, Betsy Ross, a spokeswoman for the Vermont Governor’s Highway Safety Program, said motorists need to keep the weather in mind while they’re driving.
“It’s always a transition,” she said. “It can get chaotic with black ice and speed is always a factor.”