Multiple-vehicle crash; 1 dead, 4 injured in city - updated 9:40 p.m.September 26,2012Albert J. Marro / Staff Photo
Rutland City police and fire personnel try to free injured people from vehicles involved in a crash Tuesday evening on Cleveland Avenue in Rutland.By Brent Curtis
A young woman struck by a vehicle as she stepped out of a store was killed, and four other people were seriously injured, after a four-car crash in a parking area Wednesday night in Rutland.
Police said the crash may have involved an impaired driver.
The identities of those killed or injured in the crash weren’t available Wednesday night as Rutland City Police and firefighters, assisted by Vermont State Police and Regional Ambulance Service, worked to save lives amid the wreckage of the pile-up outside Rutland Discount Food and Liquidation Center on Cleveland Avenue.
A large crowd of onlookers gathered at the scene and were repeatedly forced back by police who cordoned off a wide section of the residential street.
While multiple vehicles were involved, only one was in motion — a white Toyota Camry that police and witnesses said drove into a row of parked vehicles outside the store.
How fast the Camry was going was unclear — but it was travelling fast enough to push the three other vehicles more than 50 feet as evidenced by skid marks dug into the pavement by the tires of the parked cars.
At least some of the injured were inside their vehicles when the collision took place — including a man who was trapped in his crushed car for some time before police and firefighters could pry the door open.
A young woman, struck as she walked out of the store, died Wednesday night, according to police.
Kylee Hall, a witness to the crash, tried to help the injured woman.
Hall said she raced to the woman after she was struck by one of the vehicles and held her head in her lap until paramedics arrived.
“I held her head and tried to keep her from aspirating,” she said, adding that she recognized the woman from seeing her at the discount store regularly. “I don’t think she’s going to make it.”
The identity of the driver remains unknown and Prouty said no arrests had been made yet. However, he said police were conducting a criminal investigation into the accident and police officers were posted at Rutland Regional Medical Center where the driver and at least one passenger were being treated for their wounds. All three occupants of the Camry were reportedly injured.
Rutland County State’s Attorney Marc Brierre also visited the scene.
The sergeant also said police were looking at drug or alcohol abuse as a factor in the crash.
“We’ll certainly follow that lead,” he said.
Hall said she had little doubt that drugs were involved.
Immediately after the crash, she said she saw the occupants of the Camry get out and throw several aerosol cans into the bushes.
Brian Carroccia said he was at the north end of the street when the Camry went by him traveling south. He said he watched the vehicle swerve to the right and left several times before colliding with the parked cars.
“He must have passed out or something cause he just cut right to the left and had the throttle open when he crashed,” he said.
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