Another truck blocks Smugglers Notch, AKA ‘Dead Horse Hill’

The truck in background blocked traffic at Smugglers Notch this morning.

This morning, for at least the third time this summer, a commercial truck became stuck in Smugglers Notch, stopping traffic for hours. 

Route 108 at Smugglers Notch in Jeffersonville was blocked and impassable in both directions for about four hours due to a commercial vehicle blocking the roadway this morning, state police said.

Police say Kevin Drayton was traveling south on Route 108S towards Stowe, when he chose to disobey several road signs advising tractor trailers were prohibited. As a result, Drayton got his tractor trailer unit stuck and the roadway was closed for about four hours. Drayton was issued the two applicable Vermont Civil Violation Complaints which have a combined monetary fine of $3,544.

Morning commuter traffic was significantly interrupted. This June, two tractor-trailer truckers were each fined thousands of dollars for violating the state law outlawing big rigs driving through the Notch.

Smugglers Notch has been an enticing ‘shortcut’ since the early 1800’s, reportedly first for smugglers flouting Pres. Thomas Jefferson’s embargo of British goods. The August 18 News & Citizen reports that printed references to a path through the notch go back as far as 1818. Pre-automotive roads were constructed but little used. “A road suitable for carriages was built in 1894 but was considered a joke as its hills were so steep that it was not suitable for travel in many places, with one section of the road even earning the nickname ‘Dead Horse Hill,’” writer Aaron Calvin reports.

Categories: Crime

9 replies »

  1. At what point does this just become our own fault for not coming up with something better than a programmable construction sign?

  2. Yes, how about an approved sign showing how much the fines will be plus the tow truck costs! That might get someone’s attention.

  3. Good Grief…. $3.5K is not enough of a deterrent. Bump the fine to $25K and ensure the road signage is super clear about that for both north and southbound. Perhaps a speed bump just before the signage (to slow traffic to actually see the sign) may be helpful.

  4. Have any of you actually driven up rt 108 to see all the signs personally? Only a complete idiot or a non English reading person would continue driving. There are so many signs and they are very clear. So if the truck drivers are complete idiots or perhaps cannot read English, they should be stripped of their licenses in the US. Permanently. Period.

  5. cracks me up…this way of the state..nation…just because it says NO…..doesn’t really mean NO…….

  6. There are ample electronic and stationary warnings about the obstacle including the amount of the fine. Your typical ignorant car motorists are the ones you typically expect to obey their GPS and drive into a pond but we expect more from professional drivers of big rigs. I dont attribute this to stupidity. There must be some kind of standing challenge or dare in the semi-trailer community to see who will be the first pioneer to be able to get a 53 footer through the notch…There are the laws of traffic and then there are the laws of physics which are considerably harder to violate.