Man charged with felony in creek jumping stunt
BENNINGTON — A Sandgate man, who attempted to jump a creek with his truck Monday, crashed and injured his girlfriend instead, police said.
Garth T. Jennings, 21, of Sandgate, was charged in Bennington criminal court Tuesday with a felony count of gross negligent operation of a motor vehicle resulting in serious injury and a misdemeanor count of giving false information to police in order to implicate another person.
In an affidavit, Officer Thomas Bull, of the Bennington Police Department, said he was dispatched to a crash at the intersection of Main and Gage streets on Monday around 5:20 p.m.
Bull said he spoke to Jennings who said he had been driving the truck. According to Bull, Jennings said he had been alone in the truck.
Jennings said he had gotten to the intersection and his brakes failed so he “downshifted into second gear and punched the gas in an attempt to clear the creek,” Bull said.
However, Officer David Faden said he located a passenger, Tori Shores, who had severe lacerations to her head and a possible concussion.
Shores gave police a statement which said Jennings was speeding although she asked him to slow down several times that day. She also said that the brakes on the truck were working. During the crash, she told police, she hit her head on the truck's dashboard.
Police estimated that Jennings was driving 51 mph on the road where the posted speed is 25 mph.
Prosecutor Alex Burke said that while Jennings does not have a criminal record, he is scheduled to be arraigned on Feb. 25 after being stopped in Shaftsbury last week and cited for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Jennings, who pleaded innocent to the charge, was released without bail but ordered not to drive.