Officials: Tractor trailer crash into Bethel home could have been worse

Local News

Several people are now homeless after a tractor trailer crashed into a house in Bethel.

The residents, including children, were not hurt. The driver of the truck, Stephen Driscoll, 44, of West Danville, was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

Officials say the situation could have been much worse.

“The stars lined up,” said Bethel Fire Chief David Aldrighetti. “A lot of things that could have gone wrong, didn’t.”

The Bethel Fire Department responded to the call on South Main Street around 4:25am.

“We knew there was people living in the house. It’s a multi-family house so to say, extended family and immediately they were all outside, everyone was accounted for,” said Chief Aldrighetti.

Police said Driscoll told officers he was trying to avoid an animal in the road.

“He missed a propane tank literally by a foot and if the truck hadn’t jackknifed he would have hit the propane tank and gone straight into the second house which had an occupant sleeping right over that end of the house in bed,” said Chief Aldrighetti.

“The other saving grace is he had an empty trailer. Had he had a loaded trailer, all that weight behind him, it would have been a lot different.”

The home is now deemed unsafe. Town Constable Mark Belisle said it will probably have to be rebuilt.

“The house is not stable,” he said. “Chances are they’ll take the house out and try to rebuild that,” said , the Bethel town constable.

Driscoll, the truck driver, was arrested on an outstanding warrant from Caledonia County from January 2013. According to a Caledonia County court clerk, he pleaded not guilty to an identity theft charge in  Windsor County.

Police say speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors in the crash. The investigation is ongoing.

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