Update: Preliminary investigation shows drugs and alcohol were not factors in the crash, according to a press release from the Vermont State Police. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
By Eric Francis, Standard Correspondent
BARNARD — Louis Freeh, the former director of the FBI, was seriously injured in a single-vehicle crash early Monday afternoon on Route 12 in Barnard when his SUV went off the east side of the road, struck a mailbox and a large tree.
Freeh was cut out of the wreckage of his grey 2010 GMC Yukon by members of the Barnard Volunteer Fire Department, treated at the scene for several minutes by a White River Valley Ambulance crew, and then rolled on a stretcher a short distance down the pavement to a waiting DHART medical helicopter that had landed on Route 12 across from the Doton Farm.
Citing their patient privacy policies, the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire has so far refused to release any information about Freeh’s condition but several national news sources have been quoting senior law enforcement officials in Washington D.C. who say they had been in contact with Freeh’s family and are reporting that he underwent surgery overnight for at least one broken leg.
Police said that Freeh, who served as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for nearly eight years from September 1993 to June 2001 under presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, was the lone occupant of the SUV and that he was wearing his seatbelt when the accident occurred shortly after noon on Monday.
The stretch of rural highway just to the north of the Lakota Road intersection involved as “a straightaway” — flat, level. It appeared Freeh was heading south and struck a mailbox on the other side of the road. There didn’t appear to be any skid marks.
Two state troopers and a Windsor County Deputy Sheriff were on the scene conducting an investigation which Vermont State Police spokeswoman Stephanie Dasaro said Tuesday morning was still ongoing.
On Tuesday morning the Burlington Free Press reported that Freeh, whose driver’s license lists him as a resident of Wilmington, Delaware, has a summer home in Barnard.
After retiring from the FBI, Freeh, who is a lawyer by training, founded Freeh Group International Solutions which describes itself as a global risk management firm based in Wilmington with offices in New York and DC.
During his career with the FBI Freeh was frequently in the public eye nationally as his agency dealt with several major investigations including the Unabomber case, the crash of TWA 800 into Long Island Sound, and the bombing at the Olympic Games in Atlanta. In recent years Freeh made headlines again when he and his firm were tapped to conduct a private review for Penn State into how the university had handled or, as Freeh concluded, mishandled its original investigation into allegations that assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky had been sexually abusing minors.
(Rick Russell Photos)