Originally published 8/16/12 | Updated 8/17/12
BRISTOL — A New Hampshire man was listed in “guarded” condition with second-degree burns at Massachusetts General Hospital on Thursday afternoon after driving his tractor-trailer truck off Route 116 in Bristol, resulting in a fiery crash and a massive response from multiple fire departments, rescue organizations and at least one heroic witness.
Vermont State Police investigators said Jonathan S. Prescott, 43, of Pembroke, N.H., was driving his 2007 Freightliner south on Route 116 not far from the Middlebury town line when he apparently swerved to miss a deer and veered off the west side of the roadway, crashing into some trees and boulders. Prescott’s vehicle became engulfed in flames but he was able to escape thanks to a witness who pulled him out of a window that Prescott had kicked out with his feet.
Prescott sustained second-degree burns to his arms an inhalation burns to his lungs, according to police. He was initially taken to Porter Hospital, where he was airlifted to Mass General by a DART helicopter.
Police said the truck was burned down to its frame and the trailer portion was partially burned in the incident.
Speed and operator impairment do not appear to be contributing factors in this collision, according to VSP, who continue to investigate the matter.
VSP troopers were assisted at the scene by members of the Bristol Rescue Squad, Bristol Fire Department, Bristol Heavy Rescue, Vermont DMV Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement, Agency of Natural Resources (Haz-Mat), as well as agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The Middlebury, Weybridge and New Haven fire departments also provided mutual aid, according to sources.
Multiple people passing by stopped to assist Prescott prior to the rescue squad’s arrival, including U.S. Border Patrol agents.
Anyone who witnessed the collision is encouraged to contact VSP Senior Trooper Andrew Leise at 388-4919.
The Addison Independent will update this story as new details become available.