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Bridgewater Woman Dead In West Woodstock Accident

May 16, 2013 9:54 am Category: Bridgewater, News, Woodstock 18 Comments A+ / A-

Staff Report

An 84-year-old Bridgewater woman has died and another Bridgewater woman was injured in an accident on Route 4 in West Woodstock Thursday morning.

Norma Sawyer, 84, was killed when the Dodge Neon she was driving collided with a box truck near Liberty Farm Road in West Woodstock around 6 a.m., according to Woodstock Police Chief Robbie Blish. Sawyer died on the scene, Blish said. The passenger in Sawyer’s car, Laura Robinson, 75, was taken to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center with unknown injuries. The driver of the box truck, 46-year-old Timothy Farewell of Enfield Center, N.H., did not suffer major injuries.

The cause of the accident is unknown. Preliminary investigation indicates that one of the vehicles involved crossed the center line, Blish said. Both vehicles ended up over the embankment which runs down toward the Ottauquechee River.

The Woodstock Police Department is investigating the crash along with the Department of Motor Vehicles Enforcement, a state medical examiner, and a Vermont State Police crash reconstruction team.

Anyone with any information regarding this crash is asked to contact Officer Mark Donka at 457-1420.

It’s the third fatal accident on Route 4 in less than three months and the second in a week.

photo

(Phil Camp Photo)

(Phil Camp Photo)

 

Bridgewater Woman Dead In West Woodstock Accident Reviewed by on . Staff Report An 84-year-old Bridgewater woman has died and another Bridgewater woman was injured in an accident on Route 4 in West Woodstock Thursday morning. N Staff Report An 84-year-old Bridgewater woman has died and another Bridgewater woman was injured in an accident on Route 4 in West Woodstock Thursday morning. N Rating:

Comments (18)

  • Shawn

    Ya it’s pretty bad when u go out of your way to take an alternative way to get to work! Adding 30 mins each way to your Dailey commute beacause u and your family don’t feel safe driving rt 4? Something needs to be done! I’d like to say put up jersey beariers so we would feel safe…. But obviously that’s not going to happen. I think a very good place to start would be paint the lines bright with reflective paint and put in a rummble strip right down the center! Something has got to happen to stop the center line crossings!

  • Kathleen

    The police said it was very foggy around there. So it may have been no one’s fault.

  • Anna

    Ken, I’m sure Norma and Mary weren’t on a cellphone, but what makes you so certain the driver of the truck wasn’t?

  • Anna

    I have to jump on board with the cellphone rant. I have driven rte 4 from Mendon to WRJ 5 days a weeks for the last 14 years. As cell phone use has become more popular, and texting in particular has become the norm, I notice alot more people in their vhicles, driving with their eyes looking at their laps. and glancing up now and then. And the number of vehicle collisions has increased proportionally. I don’t think a rumble strip is going to stop that behavior. on a most memorable drive home I was behind a van in quechee that was weaving slowly left and sometimes right.I backed off a bit and sure enough, eventually the driver drove right off the road. Luckily, said driver was able to correct before flipping the van over, but it wasn’t a big truck that caused the problem. It was the distracted driver. And the truck involved in yesterdays accident was a box truck not an 18 wheeler. Law enforcement and legislature need to make a fundamental change in the laws regarding distracted drivers. Perhaps if the fine were stiffer for accidents occuring due to cell phone usage people would think twice about it and scenes such as the 2nd accident yesterday (22 y.o. texting and driving in Quechee, crashes car with her 9 month old in the back) would occur less often. This is just my personal view.

  • Dale Johnson

    For those of us who where around then, in the Late 50′s early 60′s there was a new road from Hartford to Bridgewater all surveyed out and staked with orange ribbons waving in the wind. Politics & money got in the way and that is all it amounted to “Waving in the Wind”. Blake Hill Condos set in the middle of the route today, it would have By-Passed Woodstock Village completely and gone around behind Mt Tom.

    Rte. 4 is too far from Montpelier for the State to care about what happens here, it’s only reports on someone’s desk not flesh and blood like it is to the locals who lose family and friends on it. Better Rep’s to Montpelier would be a help, they need to be held accountable for lack of action and results. Our Rep and Senators are too busy trying to run the world to be bothered with Rte. 4. They have had time enough and now it time for a change in Montpelier starting with the next election.

  • Laura Spittle

    I also believe that a major issue on VT RT 4 is the condition of the road especially between White River and Woodstock. Not only is it way past due for repair but the areas that were not redone after Irene were, in fact, undermined and the situation is getting worse every day. In the past there have been actual cave ins and I would not be surprised to see this again. Another road in dire need of repair is VT RT 106 between Woodstock and the Reading town line. Same problem. Very scary and very expensive in terms of vehicle damage. I do realize that these accidents probably could not have been avoided by road repair but you never know as the roads are so bad that they actually pull the wheels into the cracks and that could contribute. As to texting: Recently I started using a voice activated cell phone service in my vehicle. I push one button and then talk only. There is no option for texting though I suspect a voice/text option could be made available. I think that the only phones allowed for use in vehicles should be like this… one button on, voice activated with no keypad use. I am amazed at how much safer I am on the road now and wonder why I was never in an accident because of a cell phone. I think it should be illegal to have any other type of cell phone turned on in a moving vehicle. If people need their regular cell phones they can forward their calls to a handsfree. With all the electronic stuff out there I am sure they can make it so texts can be read to you on a hands free as well. We simply need to eliminate even the option. Just as we have an open container law, we should have a similar law for non handsfree cell phones.

  • Kathleen

    What a tragic loss. I use to go to the ocean with Norma and Mary. She was so much fun; even though she had such a hard life. My thoughts and prayers are with the family; and pray Laura is doing well.

  • Ken

    I am quite sure that the accident that happened just outside of Bridgewater today had nothing to do with a cell phone. If you had read who was driving you would realize this. However the area where it happened is place where people like to increase their speed before they are supposed to. The speed changes from 35 to 50 just after the corner, but as I have observed in the past, from the driveway of the person who was in the passenger seat, people like to pick it up a little sooner, and yes especially some of the trucks. Also if that area is newly paved so I am quite sure that did not contribute to the accident. The stretch of rte.4 between white river and woodstock does suck, but that is not what I was talking about. The stretch between Bridgewater and Woodstock is newly done. I am not saying that every trucker doe’s that but I have observed enough of them do that, on that corner, to know it happens way to often..

  • Karen

    Hey Ken, Big trucks are NOT the problem. If it wasn’t for big trucks you would have NOTHING!!!! The car you are driving, Food you eat, Booze you drink (if you are a drinker), even the house you live in, I could go on and on but whats the use people like you are ALWAYS going to blame the trucks!!!!!
    Rt. 4 is NOT the best of roads and if the truckdrivers’ had a choice they would rather not have to travel that road…The road is in bad need of repair and has been for a very long time….The section between Exit 1 and Taftsville has needed to be repaired AND NOT PATCHED for a very long time now and until they repair that section you are going to see more and more accidents.
    This morning on my way to work in Quechee that was a jeep compass stuffed into the gardrail and I am pretty sure of this being a case of getting caught in the huge ridges in that section of the road that sucked that person into the gardrail and NO rumble strip would have stopped that….
    Another problem is CELL PHONES….If these people would stay OFF their cell phones this would make A huge difference in your ride in the bad places!!!!!! I travel Rt. 4 from White River Jct. to Quechee everyday.. Rain, Snow, Sleet and good weather and I would rather be slapped then to have to travel that road BUT work is work and you have to go where you have to go…Speed or in alot of cases lack of speed is a not a problem it’s The CONDITION of the road and CELL PHONES….. At least 1 of the fatalities that has happen on Rt. 4 recently the person had a cell phone in their hand and another one had a cell phone in their lap…..
    Rumble strips might be a good idea but fix the damn surface of the road first and for most!!!!!!!! Then put a stop to using cell phones while you are driving that would help a great deal also but then again if the police go down the road using their cell phones how can you control the public from using them?? If a Fed. Law was passed to include EVERYONE that might help…What did you people do before you had cell phones???
    Don’t be so quick to blame the BIG TRUCKS for these accidents happening 9 out of 10 times it’s a 4-wheeler that has caused these accidents and it’s just bad luck that a Big Truck was in the wrong place at the wrong time!!!!
    Spend time in a Big Truck and see what we have to go thru to keep one of these rigs on the road because of STUPID moves on the part of a 4-wheeler and you will be quick to change your minds about trucks!!!!!

  • Eva Sawyer

    My family and I would like to thank everyone for their support during this difficult time. Aunt Norma will be dearly missed. Bridgewater is a little bit emptier today, and heaven a little fuller.

  • Rte 4 Needs Change

    Norma was such a sweet and funny lady, what a tremendous loss for her family and friends. I believe that all sections of Rte 4 with a speed limit of 40 m.p.h. or greater should have ‘rumble strip’ applied to the center line. This road is dangerous, too many head-on accidents and lives lost.

  • Tim

    They need a rumble strip down the middle of the road! Too many accidents.

  • Melanie

    I second Joan’s comment and appreciate the specifics she mentioned, very thoughtful and intelligent. Some deep thought needs to be given by towns along Route 4 and collectively form a plan to make it a safer roadway. Route 4 is a difficult road to navigate so you have to be extremely cautious, there’s very little margin for error of any kind. What’s been happening is horrible….

  • Walter

    A center rumble strip is needed, from White River to Killington. With double steel guardrail for much of its length, a motorist facing a lane departure has nowhere to go. How high the butcher’s bill before Montpelier will release the funds?

  • Ken

    Speed has always been a problem on rte. 4 especially with these big trucks. I realize that they have deadlines, but that does not give them the right to travel at speeds that put everyone elses lives in jeopardy to get there. These people are our family’s and our friends they do not deserve such tragedy!!

  • Micky

    How many more people have to die on Rt.4 before VT AOT does something about it? How many more children must lose their parents because the state chooses to ignore the condition of this heavily used East-West artery? A divided highway exists from Rutland to NY, but everything East of Rutland seems to be ignored. Rumble strips aren’t the answer, but they may help temporarily. We need the roads in VT repaired and replaced!

  • joan

    We really need to do something about the future of rt4 …incuding safer shoulders, brighter center lines, fewer curb cuts and careful development of this fragile bi-way ….heavily traveled by vehicles of all sizes and shapes . the loss of life is frightening to all of us who use this road and who love this part of vermont.

  • Sara

    This would be the 4th Fatality on rte 4 in the last 3 months..there was a double fatality on or around March 7th, Mrs. Hutt that passed away last week and today. Such a sad loss for all these families!

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