WILLISTON, NORTH DAKOTA – Five people died after a wrong way driver-caused several accidents on Interstate 89 early Sunday in Williston, Vermont, said the captain of the state police. Mike Henry.
Several agencies Chittenden County Emergency responded to the scene around midnight Sunday, and interstate between exits 13 and 11 was closed.
Henry said he expects the road to remain closed for up to six hours, while workers investigating the accident reconstruction. northbound lanes are open from 3 a.m. but southbound lanes remain closed between Exit 12 in Williston and exit 11 in Richmond.
Henry said a man traveling northbound in the southbound lane on the highway between exits 11 and 12 and when it collided with another car. Williston police arrived to investigate the scene, and the man got out of his truck and stole a police patrol, Henry said.
The man headed south toward Richmond Richmond when police tried to intercept it. The man made a U-turn and again to the north in the southbound lanes, Henry said.
Near mile marker 80, the man with the stolen cruiser collided with about seven other vehicles. The man was expelled from the cruise, and cruise burned, Henry said.
At least one other car was also on fire, witnesses said.
The alleged wrong way driver, whose name was withheld, was taken to the University of Vermont Medical Center for treatment. Henry did not say how man’s injuries were serious.
Five people were declared dead at the scene of clashes. The police are also withholding their names pending notification of relatives.
Others suffered injuries, but Henry could not confirm how many received treatment.
No emergency services were injured as a result of the incident, Henry said.
Shane Moody said he and his girlfriend Amanda Dinsmore, both of Barre, were driving south on I-89, near the rest stop in Williston.
When he noticed the blue lights of police vehicles behind him and a number of vehicles stopped on the side of the road in front of him.
Moody pulled his car to a right side when he heard a loud pop, he said. After leaving his car, Moody and Dinsmore said they noticed two cars on fire – one in the middle of the road and one by an embankment. Debris covered the road.
State Police sent an e-mail alert about 12:20 a.m. Sunday as saying that the southbound lanes were close, and then changed the email alert with another about 15 minutes after adding the northbound lanes until closing.