WATERBURY CENTER — A South Carolina man died and a Vermont truck driver was injured in a six-vehicle crash that closed a section of Vermont Route 100 in Waterbury Center last Thursday afternoon.
First responders from Waterbury Fire Department, Waterbury Ambulance Service, and Stowe EMS tended to the individuals involved. Vermont State Police were at the scene until after 6 p.m. when the road was finally reopened to through traffic.
According to State Trooper Ryan Riegler, the incident happened just before 2 p.m. when Robert Hunter, age 67, of Columbia, South Carolina, was driving northbound on Route 100 near Spruce Haven Road. Hunter’s Hyundai Accent crossed into the southbound lane and collided with a 2006 Mack dump truck, driven by Harold Kittredge, age 68, of New Haven, Vermont.
Both vehicles landed in the northbound lane where more collisions happened.
The Hyundai crashed with the vehicle that had been traveling behind it, a 2020 Subaru Legacy driven by Scott Maier, age 36, of Johnson. The Mack truck traveled farther into the northbound lane and hit two more vehicles: a 2018 Ford Transit van driven by 19-year-old Connor Billado, of Waterbury, and a 2008 International box truck driven by Thomas O’Brien, 62, of Williamstown.
O’Brien’s truck was then pushed into the pickup truck following behind it, a 2012 Nissan Frontier with 41-year-old James Covey of Barre at the wheel.
Waterbury Fire Chief Gary Dillon said fire and ambulance personnel worked together to remove the roof, driver’s side door, and dash from the Hyundai to free the driver who was critically injured.
Stowe EMS transported Hunter from the scene. Although a medivac helicopter was called, it was not employed as Hunter was pronounced deceased before he was able to be airlifted to a hospital, emergency officials said.
Waterbury Ambulance Service transported Kittredge, the driver of the Mack truck, to Central Vermont Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries including an arm laceration, police said. A hospital spokesman on Friday said Kittredge was treated and released.
All of the drivers were wearing seat belts at the time, and none of the others were injured, police said. The Hyundai, Mack truck, Subaru, and Toyota pickup all were totaled; the van sustained minor damage and the box trunk had front-end damage, according to Riegler’s report.
“Clearly, this was a bad scene, but could have been much worse,” Dillon said.
Route 100 was closed for approximately four hours. Waterbury Fire Department members helped clear the scene and assisted towing service operators, Dillon said.
Stowe Police, VTrans and Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles personnel also assisted state police on scene.
The investigation into the crash remains open and Trooper Riegler said that anyone who may have witnessed it is asked to contact the Vermont State Police at the Middlesex barracks, 802-229-9191.