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Fog, ice trigger tragedy on Richville Dam Road

SHOREHAM - On Dec. 27, 2009, at approximately 6:30 p.m., a Toyota operated by Rachel Herrick age 26, of Shoreham was westbound on the Richville Dam Road in Shoreham. It was foggy and the roads were ice covered and extremely slippery. As Herrick's car traveled westbound, it slid off the northside of the road into a ditch.

A Chevy truck operated by Peter J. Coe, age 43, of Shoreham was eastbound with family members when he stopped to help the occupants of Herrick's car. Unfortunately, Coe died in the accident.

A Shoreham volunteer firefighter pulled his vehicle into the westbound lane, facing east, in an attempt to pull out Herrick's vehicle. The road is on a crest of a hill with a corner. Jason K. Vandeweert, age 30, of Addison, was operating a Chevy truck pulling an empty flatbed trailer, and was west bound when he crested the hill and observed Herrick's vehicle in the eastbound lane. Vandeweert attempted to halt his vehicle, but due to the icy road conditions, was unable to stop. Vandeweert's truck exited the northside of the road where the front of this vehicle collided with Coe who was standing outside of his vehicle. Vanderweert then collided with a CVPS power pole, a large tree and Herrick's vehicle. Coe died as a result of injuries sustained in this collision.

Vermont State Police were assisted at the scene by the Shoreham Volunteer Fire Department, Shoreham First Response and the Middlebury Volunteer Ambulance Association. This accident is currently under investigation.

Anyone with any information is requested to contact Trooper Todd Conway at 388-4919.

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