Chester man cited for child cruelty during I-91 accident probe

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Jason Carrara

A Chester man was cited for child cruelty this afternoon when he refused to remove a child from an accident scene involving his company’s truck on I-91 northbound.

According to a Vermont State Police press release, early in the investigation of the crash, Jason Carrara, 36, of Chester, arrived on the scene to “survey the damage to his truck and to check on his driver.”

Carrara’s tractor trailer was rolled over, off the east shoulder between Exits 3 and 4. Traffic was reduced to a single lane for seven hours as several large tow trucks,  fire trucks,  Vermont Agency of Transporation trucks and other emergency vehicles worked the investigation and cleanup of the scene.

During the crash investigation, troopers noticed that a small child – 3 to 4 years old – was left unattended and unsupervised in Carrara’s truck.

Troopers say that they spoke to Carrara about their concern over the child being unattended and asked Carrara to make arrangements for the child to be cared for by an adult or removed from the scene.

Several hours after the trooper spoke to Carrara, the same trooper saw the child still in the vehicle and unsupervised. Around 2 p.m., the trooper again urged Carrara to return to his vehicle and remove the child to a safe location. When Carrara refused, police say, he was taken into custody for cruelty to a child and disorderly conduct.

The child was taken to the Westminster Barracks and the Department for Children and Families was contacted. The  child was then released to a relative.

Carrara was taken into custody and processed on the charges of cruelty to a child and disorderly conduct. He was cited to appear in Windham County Criminal Court on April 30.

The accident occurred at about 8:45 a.m. when John Swaller, 70, of New Haven, Conn., lost control of his 2017 Nissan Pathfinder hit a guardrail and rebounded into a 2012 Peterbilt tractor driven by Matthew Trudeau, 56, of Castleton. The impact forced Swaller’s car back into the guardrail, totaling it, while the tractor trailer went off the right side of the road, sliding about 20 yards down the hill and landing on its side.

Both drivers were taken to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital for treatment of their injuries.

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