Two dead, 1 hurt in Route 7 head-on crash
By PATRICK MCARDLE
STAFF WRITER | July 16,2014
BENNINGTON — Two men were killed and a woman was seriously injured in a head-on crash in Bennington on Monday night, police said.
Jamie R. Sorel, 36, of Bennington, and Danny C. Thomas, 26, of Pownal, were killed. Tory Green, 19, of Pownal, was taken to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington and then flown by helicopter to the Albany (N.Y.) Medical Center with what police said were “traumatic injuries.”
Police believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.
Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette said members of the Bennington Police Department, the Bennington Rescue Squad and the Bennington Rural Fire Department were called to the scene of a reported two-vehicle crash around 11:35 p.m. Monday.
When emergency responders reached the crash, they found there were three vehicles involved, Doucette said. Two of the vehicles had crashed “head-on,” Doucette said.
He said the drivers of both cars, Sorel and Thomas, died at the crash scene. Green had been a passenger in Thomas’ car.
After a preliminary investigation, police believe Sorel was traveling north on Route 7 in a 2002 Oldsmobile. Sorel tried to pass a tractor-trailer truck driven by Steven D. Klatt of Weare, N.H.
Doucette said Sorel was driving north in the southbound lane when Thomas, driving a 1998 Volkswagen Jetta, came around the bend just south of Carpenter Hill Road.
The Oldsmobile and the Jetta collided head-on in the southbound lane, Doucette said.
The impact caused major crush and intrusion damage to both cars and collapsed the driver’s compartments.
The Oldsmobile lifted off of the ground, spun and struck the side of the tractor-trailer.
Both cars came to a stop in the southbound lane of Route 7, and Klatt, 57, who was not injured, was able to stop his truck.
A representative from the Vermont Medical Examiner’s office responded to the crash scene along with an employee of Mahar and Son Funeral Home, to help emergency responders free Sorel and Thomas from the cars.
Sorel, Thomas and Green were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
Route 7 was closed for about four hours while emergency service workers investigated the crash. Doucette said the investigation will continue.