Route 4 crash kills woman
By ERIC FRANCIS
CORRESPONDENT | May 10,2013
Photo by Eric Francis
This tractor trailer, designed to carry horses, was involved in an accident on Route 4 that killed an unidentified woman Thursday.
QUECHEE — A Woodstock woman was killed Thursday afternoon when her car collided head-on with a tractor-trailer on Route 4.
Patience Hutt, 40, died in the crash, according to Hartford police.
The driver of the tractor-trailer, Billy Surles, 44, of Howe, Texas, was not injured.
A witness, who told bystanders she was a former emergency medical technician, said she heard the crash from her residence nearby and immediately ran to the scene. She briefly tried to perform CPR on Hutt, she said, before determining she was beyond saving.
Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brad Vail said Surles told him that he’d just begun his journey east on Route 4 in the nearby hamlet of Taftsville, apparently after dropping off one or more horses.
The woman had been driving west when her 1995 Subaru Legacy came into the path of the 2012 Peterbilt tractor-trailer on a sweeping curve near “The Wall” indoor climbing facility, police said.
The impact crushed the front of the car and shoved the wreckage backward nearly 50 yards down Route 4 before the two vehicles parted, police said.
The tractor-trailer went partially over the embankment across from the “Fool on the Hill” farmstand.
Many Hartford and Vermont State Police officers responded to the scene, as did the Hartland and Hartford fire departments. A medical examiner and state police accident reconstruction team were also called in.
The stretch of Route 4 between Taftsville and the Mid-Vermont Christian School in Quechee remained closed for hours while the accident investigation continued.
A third vehicle, a 2012 Nissan Versa driven by Nicolas Allard, 41, of France, was following the Subaru. Vail said it appeared that car had been “clipped” by the tractor-trailer during the accident, but neither of the men inside were hurt.
Police were calling in a translator so they could interview the pair as witnesses.