WESTMINSTER, Vt. — On May 18 at 10:20 a.m., Vermont State Police were advised of a serious motor vehicle crash that occurred on Morse Brook Road near James Road in the town of Westminster. Conditions were clear and it is a dry, packed dirt road. Preliminary investigation revealed that a juvenile was traveling east in a 2010 Nissan Sentra on Morse Brook Road when s/he lost control of the vehicle and struck a tree. The impact with the tree caused the vehicle to rotate clockwise and strike a second smaller tree. After striking the small tree, the vehicle traveled up a slight grade of dirt along the edge of the roadway and then struck a large tree with the passenger side rear door/quarter panel. The final impact caused massive crush damage and an intrusion into the rear passenger area of the vehicle. The juvenile driver, who was wearing a seat belt, sustained minor injuries. A seat-belted Dominic Bates, 15, of Chester escaped injury, but Vincenzo Ruggiero, 15 of Saxtons River, who was seat belted in the rear middle seat sustained a severe head injury. He later succumbed to his injuries at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.

Speed is believed to be a factor in the crash. The crash is still under investigation and more details will be released at a later time. Members of the VSP Crash Reconstruction Team responded to the scene and are assisting with the investigation.

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