Six vehicles were involved in a crash on Route 7 with two of them colliding head on just before noon in Charlotte on March 31. Courtesy photo

UPDATE May 20, 2017: Edward Woodruff was cited to appear in Chittenden Superior Court Criminal Division, by Trooper James Fox of the Williston Barracks, for a Fourth Offense DUI as a result of this investigation. Woodruff was also issued a civil traffic ticket for a violation of Driving on Roadways Laned for Travel, Title 23 VSA 1038.   

On March 31, six vehicles were involved in a crash on Route 7 with two of them colliding head on just before noon in Charlotte. Multiple people were injured and some trapped in their vehicles, Charlotte Fire Department Assistant Chief Rob Mullin said. Traffic was temporarily diverted at Route 7 and Church Hill Road and the intersection of Route 7 and Ferry Road.

Both of the trapped patients were extricated in less than 30 minutes from arrival of the first unit, Mullin said. “The cars were so spread out that we had to re-position the heavy rescue after the first extrication,” he said.

A vehicle operated by Edward Woodruff, 70, of Westport, New York was traveling southbound when it crossed the center line and sideswiped a northbound vehicle driven by Patricia Richardson, 66, of Shrewsbury, police said. Woodruff’s vehicle then continued and struck a second northbound vehicle driven by Michelle Brick, 55, of Colchester before striking a guardrail on the northbound shoulder.

Woodruff’s vehicle then collided head on with another northbound vehicle driven by Ashley Francis, 22, of Milton, police said. A northbound vehicle driven by Shannon Ryan, 28, of South Burlington attempted to avoid both vehicles but struck the back of the vehicle driven by Francis. A northbound vehicle driven by Kathy Rivard, 47, of Morrisville was struck and damaged by flying debris as a result of the final impact.

Four people were transported to the hospital with injuries. Road conditions were wet, Mullin said.

Vermont State Police are investigating. Based on the preliminary investigation it does not appear that excessive speed or road conditions were a factor in this crash, police said. Operator Edward Woodruff was being processed at the UVM Medical Center for suspicion of DUI after providing a preliminary breath sample of .077% BAC after the crash. The exact cause of this accident remains under investigation.

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