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Vermont State Police Log: Troopers follow trail of leaked fluids to find driver

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Posted on August 3, 2017 |
By Addison Independent Staff



ADDISON COUNTY — Vermont State Police were called to a one-vehicle crash near the intersection of West Shore and Maple roads near Lake Dunmore in Salisbury on this past Sunday evening at a little after 8:30 p.m.

Troopers found that a pickup truck had been traveling northbound on West Shore Road when it left the roadway and struck a utility pole. Witnesses at the scene told police that the driver drove away from the scene, leaving a trail of oil from the damaged vehicle.

After following the vehicular fluids in the roadway, troopers found the damaged/disabled truck — a 2005 Dodge Dakota — and identified the driver as Timothy Landwehr, 46, of Middlebury.

While speaking with Landwehr, troopers detected signs of impairment. Landwehr performed standardized field sobriety tests and police took him into custody and transported him to the New Haven state police barracks for processing. Police cited Landwehr for driving under the influence, first offense, and leaving the scene of an accident. Landwehr was uninjured but police judged the truck to be a total loss.

That was just one DUI citation; Vermont State Police issued three more locally.

First, on July 28 at almost a quarter past 6 p.m. state police stopped a car driven by 55-year-old Lori Bullock Sullivan of Burlington after seeing her fail to maintain her lane while driving on Route 7 in Salisbury. Police cited Sullivan for driving under the influence of drugs.

Almost exactly 24 hours later, troopers were called to Royce Hill Road in Orwell for a reported threatening complaint. Police said their investigation showed that David A. Patterson, 70, of Orwell arrived at a residence and made threats to individuals there. Police found Patterson and alleged he had driven a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Patterson resisted arrest and after a brief altercation he was taken into custody, driven to the New Haven barracks and cited for DUI and resisting arrest.

About that same time, another trooper stopped a motor vehicle on Panton Road in Panton after observing a violation. She ended up citing Richard Packard Jr., 35, for DUI.

On Monday, state police at the New Haven barracks announced there will be a sobriety checkpoint(s) conducted in Addison County by area law enforcement within the next four weeks. This will be done in an effort to monitor the flow of traffic along Vermont’s highways in the interest of detecting and arresting persons under the influence of alcohol or any drug that has impaired their ability to operate a motor vehicle.

Meanwhile, in other recent activity, troopers:

•  On July 25 at approximately 1:54 p.m. responded to a one-vehicle crash on Leland Road in Salisbury. State police report that Ricky E. Devoid, 60, of Salisbury was driving a 1941 Dodge truck southbound on Leland Road when he lost control of the vehicle when it went onto a soft shoulder. The vintage Dodge travelled left of the center line, left the road and rolled onto its right side, facing north. Speed appears to be a contributing factor in the crash, police report.

Devoid was assisted by Middlebury Regional EMS and transported to Porter Hospital for evaluation. Police said there was a passenger in the truck, but didn’t say if she was injured.

Police issued Devoid tickets for not having insurance, unreasonable and imprudent speed for conditions and not being registered when required to be.

This investigation remains active. Sgt. Stephen McNamara asks that any witnesses to the crash please contact him and the Vermont State Police at 388-4944.  

•  On July 26 at around 5:30 p.m. stopped a vehicle driven on Route 22A in Addison by Joseph A. Gould, 21, of Addison for a defective muffler and failure to display registration. Police cited Gould for driving with a criminally suspended license.

At the state level, Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Thomas D. Anderson  and VSP Director Col. Matthew T. Birmingham on Sunday issued the following statement on the use-of-force by law enforcement:

“All Vermont communities rightfully expect that law enforcement in Vermont will have an uncompromising commitment to principles of professionalism, including responsibility and compassion for all individuals with whom they come into contact. This includes the general public, motorists, and those taken into custody for criminal activity.

“Under no circumstance is a police officer permitted to use force that is not reasonable or legally permissible. All certified police officers in Vermont, including the Vermont State Police, receive extensive training on the proper use of force to ensure the prudent, reasonable and careful use of force under the circumstances. The Vermont State Police also receive ongoing training on use of force, are required to report when force has been used, and face significant disciplinary penalties for the improper use of force or mistreatment of any person in their custody, up to and including dismissal.

“Statements by any public official condoning or encouraging the unreasonable use of force or the mistreatment of individuals in police custody are inappropriate and antithetical to professional policing and the mission of the Department of Public Safety.”

The statement from Anderson and Birmingham came after President Donald Trump on Friday addressed police and said police could be “rough” with suspected criminals and need not protect their heads when putting them into a police car. “Please don’t be nice,” Trump said.

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