State police this weekend reported a drunk driver driving the wrong way on I-89 nearly hit a state police cruiser, a drunk boater injured a child who had been jumping on an inflated floating trampoline, and a Newport man was cited for his fourth DUI offense.
Drunk boater injures child – Saturday at 7:36 pm, state troopers responded to the report of a boat that crashed into a floating trampoline on Lake Hortonia in Hubbardton. Two juveniles were on the trampoline at the time of the crash and were safely able to make it to shore. One of the juveniles sustained a minor foot injury and the other was uninjured.
An adult male sustained a leg injury attempting to help the children. Upon arrival, it was determined that Joseph Moffit, 39, of Hubbardton was traveling south on Lake Hortonia in his motorized boat at the time of the crash. Moffit displayed signs of impairment, and it was determined he was operating the boat while under the influence of alcohol, police say.
Moffit was arrested for BWI and was transported to the State Police Barracks in Rutland for processing, then released with a citation. Vermont State Police were assisted by the Fair Haven Rescue Squad and Hubbardton Fire Department.
DUI#4 – St. Johnsbury Barracks conducted a motor vehicle stop on Route 122 in Lyndon Saturday night, July 30 at about 11:30 pm, after observing several motor vehicle violations. The operator of the vehicle, James A. Cunningham, 34, of Newport displayed signs of impairment during the stop and was screened for DUI.
Cunningham was arrested at the conclusion of screening and was transported to the St. Johnsbury State Police Barracks for processing for suspicion of Driving Under the Influence. Cunningham was transported to the St. Johnsbury Detox Facility with a citation to appear in court August 8.
Impaired driver near-miss with state police cruiser – About an hour later on the other side of the state, a state trooper was traveling north on I-89 in Georgia when they were nearly struck head on by a vehicle being operated south in the northbound lane against the flow of traffic. With help from the Milton Police Department, the vehicle was safely brought to a stop and the operator was identified as Chad Johnson (50) of Montgomery Center, state police say.
While speaking with Johnson, Troopers detected several signs of impairment. Johnson was screened for DUI and ultimately placed under arrest. Johnson was also found to be in possession of a small quantity of cocaine at the time of his arrest. Johnson was transported to the Saint Albans Barracks for processing, and later released on citation on charges of DUI #2, gross negligent operation, and possession of cocaine.
Fatal motorcycle crash – after noon on Friday, state troopers responded to a one-vehicle motorcycle crash on Stage Road in the town of Barnard. A witness on scene observed the operator traveling at a high rate of speed. The operator was unable to make the corner and left the travel portion of the roadway. The operator hit a drainage ditch and went airborne for approximately 40 feet. The operator was pronounced deceased at the scene by members of White River Valley Ambulance.
The fatality was at least the seventh by a Vermont motorcylist this year. Overall, 44 Vermonters have died on state highways this year, compared to 34 at this point last year, state public safety officials say. The 10 year average for this date last year is 30.
Reduced policing and increased drug use are among the reasons given for the increase in highway fatalities.