By LISA SCAGLIOTTI
A 77-year-old Shelburne man driving a dump truck was involved in a multi-vehicle crash that included a tour bus Monday morning. Police say the accident was caused by drivers blinded by sunshine on the wet highway.
In addition to the truck, two sedans and a tour bus from Canada with 43 passengers and a driver on board were also involved in the crash, according to state police.
No one was seriously injured.
State police at 8:23 a.m. were called to Interstate 89 in Middlesex for a four-vehicle accident in the southbound lane, according to a news release.
The weather was clear and sunny but the road was wet, according to the report.
“Subsequent investigation revealed that several motorists were blinded by the sun’s reflection off of the wet roadway and were following too close to one another,” Trooper Isaac Merriam wrote in the press release.
The accident began when Gavin Porter, 24 of Northfield, driving a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt rear-ended a 2013 Toyota Corolla driven by Roman Rehak, 52 of Williston.
Next, a 2000 Provost tour bus carrying 43 passengers and driven by Jorims St. Come, age 48 of Montreal, rear-ended Porter’s Bolt.
Finally, an S.D. Ireland 2005 Kenworth dump truck with 77-year-old William Boisvine of Shelburne at the wheel, collided into the back of the tour bus.
“It was hard to see on the road,” Merriam said in a phone interview. “Everyone was a little at fault.”
All of the vehicles sustained what police described as “disabling damage,” meaning all needed to be towed from the scene of the crash, Merriam explained.
In addition, a couple more cars slid off the road to avoid the crashed vehicles, but they were able to drive away, Merriam said.
Traffic slowed to one lane until the accident scene was cleared and a state Department of Motor Vehicles inspector arrived to inspect both the truck and bus before they were towed away, he said.
The accident report noted that the Corolla had rear-end damage; the Bolt had front- and rear-end damage; the bus had driver-side front-end damage and rear-end damage; the dump truck’s front end was damaged.
Merriam said the engine block of the coach bus was located in the rear and it ruptured on impact. The bus still had heat and passengers waited on board until a replacement bus was able to arrive for them. The group from Montreal was headed to Killington to ski, Merriam said.
The police report noted that all of the drivers involved in the crash were wearing seat belts.
Although no one was seriously hurt, a passenger in the Bolt, 20-year-old Randy Porter of Northfield, was taken to Central Vermont Hospital with minor facial injuries, police said.
For the driver of the dump truck, this was the second chain-reaction type of accident in just over a year. In October 2017, William Boisvine was involved in a crash on Interstate-189 westbound in South Burlington. He was driving a dump truck loaded with gravel when he hit a Subaru Forester from behind; the Subaru, in turn, struck a Honda Odyssey. The Subaru was totaled in that accident. Boisvine, then age 75, was unhurt and the other drivers were taken to the hospital to be evaluated.
State police were assisted at the scene of Monday’s crash in Middlesex by crews from the Montpelier Rescue and Middlesex Fire Department.
As wintry weather continues, public safety officials remind motorists to maintain a safe following distance from vehicles in front of them and to reduce speed when their sight is affected by weather conditions.