Barre, VT — William Tolman, the suspect of the fatal pedestrian crash that killed 36-year-old Brandi Klassen, pleaded not guilty in Washington Superior Court on Friday. If Tolman is convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison.

Klassen was walking on Websterville Road several weeks ago when a car hit her and took off. “It’s traumatic, and certainly in a circumstance like this, it’s even worse when it’s unexpected and there’s no preparation for something like that,” said Rory Thibault, a Washington State Attorney.

Barre Town Police Chief William Dodge was on the scene that night. “The initial report was for a female lying on the roadway and that’s what we found when we arrived on the scene. Half a dozen to ten vehicle parts that were found on the road next to her.”

Chief Dodge says his goal was to find the driver who left the scene and bring closure to Brandi’s family. “After 12, 13 days, nothing coming in. Hope was starting to dwindle.”

All that changed when an anonymous source online submitted a tip, which led police to a garage in Barre.

“We brought the vehicle parts we found at the scene in the garage and matched them up perfectly with the damage to the front of the vehicle,” said Dodge. Police were able to make an arrest, charging William Tolman. “To whoever made that online tip, without that we would not have solved this,” said Dodge. “So we thank you very much.” 

“First and foremost, I’m thankful the family has answers,” said Thibault.  

According to Chief Dodge, Brandi’s mother is very thankful.

“I spoke with Brandi’s mom both the night of the accident and yesterday after we made the arrest and again today. She really wants to know who made the call. We understand that people don’t want their identity known but she is very thankful.”