‘Conditions were terrible’ before fatal crash

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ESSEX – Essex police identified the two people who were killed in an accident on Vermont 289 on Monday morning as Pearl Farley, 78, of Colchester and Neil McKee, 55, of Cambridge.

The passenger in McKee’s SUV, James McKee, 28, of Essex sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to the University of Vermont Medical Center.

A hospital spokeswoman said the man was treated and released.

None of the vehicles’ occupants was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, according to the Essex Police Department.

Investigators said the 1999 Toyota Camry driven by Farley was traveling east on the highway when she crossed the center line into the westbound lane and collided with the 2008 Mercury Mariner driven by Neil Mckee.

Slippery and icy road conditions were factors in the crash, according to police.

John Churchman of Essex, who had been driving that stretch of road at about 6:30 a.m., said portions appeared to be sheet ice.

Law enforcement officials were alerted to the accident at about 6:50 a.m. and quickly closed the Circumferential Highway between exits 7 and 9.

The highway was opened to all traffic by late morning.

Commuters reported delays for westbound traffic along Vermont 15 as a result of the accident.

Essex town and village emergency teams responded to the accident, Essex Police St. Ken Beaulieu said.

Many roadways in the area were slick Monday morning, and police advised motorists to use extra caution.

Anyone with information about the accident is asked to call the Essex Police Department at 878-8331.

Elsewhere in Vermont, icy road conditions contributed to more than a dozen crashes Sunday night and Monday, according to state police agencies. No serious injuries were reported.

Several thousand power outages were reported throughout the day Monday statewide.

 

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