By Eric Francis, Standard Correspondent
BRATTLEBORO — A Quechee driver and his passenger sustained facial injuries from airbag deployment Thursday morning when he lost control of his Ford Explorer during a snowstorm on Interstate 91 in southern Vermont and crashed head-on into a guardrail.
Travis LaPlante, 31, of Quechee suffered “substantial lacerations and bruising to his face” and Sarah Paulson, 33, of Brooklyn, N.Y., sustained minor lacerations to her mouth, according to Vermont State Police Trooper Kurt Wagenbach who investigated the mishap.
The accident occurred in the southbound lane on the interstate in the town of Dummerston and both the Putney Volunteer Fire Department and Putney Rescue responded to the scene just after 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
Putney Rescue took LaPlante to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released later in the afternoon.
Trooper Wagenbach said both LaPlante and Paulson were wearing their seat belts.
In his report, Wagenbach said speed was not a factor and that LaPlante simply lost control on the snow covered and slippery pavement, sending him fish-tailing from the travel lane across the high-speed lane and finally head-on into the guardrail which caused significant damage to the front end and front quarter-panels of the SUV. Wagenbach said another vehicle that was coming up from behind managed to avoid hitting the wrecked Explorer.