CHARLOTTE — A major car crash involving four vehicles occurred Wednesday morning, resulting in multiple serious injuries and one driver being charged with driving under the influence.
The crash took place at approximately 9:23 a.m. on U.S. Route 7, near the intersection of Higbee Road.
Initial investigations by the Vermont State Police indicate that the chain reaction began when two cars traveling north stopped to yield for a left-turning vehicle. Nicholas Bushell, 31, of Ferrisburgh, failed to yield and crashed his 2016 Ford truck into the rear of a Ford Escape driven by 75-year-old Dennis Cassidy of Middlebury.
The impact forced Cassidy’s vehicle into the Mazda3 in front of him, which had stopped for the turn. Subsequently, Cassidy’s vehicle crossed the centerline, colliding with a southbound Subaru Forester operated by Samuel Desrochers, 28, of Burlington.
Bushell, the driver accused of initiating the crash sequence, was transported to the UVM Medical Center for serious non-life-threatening injuries.
Both occupants of the Ford Escape — Dennis Cassidy and Linda Cassidy, 70 — were also taken to UVMMC with similar injuries. Danielle Hermey, 53, and her passenger, Allen Fetter, 61, of the Mazda3, sustained minor injuries but were not hospitalized. Desrochers later sought treatment at UVMMC for minor injuries.
Upon interviewing Bushell at the hospital, troopers observed signs of impairment.
A drug recognition expert from the Department of Liquor Control assisted the investigation, concluding that Bushell was under the influence at the time of the accident.
He was issued a citation for DUI-drugs and grossly negligent operation, with a court appearance scheduled for Oct. 5 at 8:30 a.m. in the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in Burlington.
Multiple agencies, including the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, South Burlington Police Department, and fire departments from Charlotte, Ferrisburgh, and Shelburne, provided support at the scene. UVM and Shelburne EMS also rendered assistance. The involved vehicles were towed by Handy’s Towing and Elite Auto Towing.