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Vermont State Police Log: Lost hiker spent night in woods before rescue

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Posted on March 22, 2018 |
By Addison Independent



ADDISON COUNTY — Rescuers from a host of local and state first response agencies collaborated this past Thursday night and Friday morning to find and evacuate a Middlebury man who apparently got lost in the Green Mountain National Forest and spent the night in the woods.

Vermont State Police report that 27-year-old Jeffrey Kramer went hiking on the Long Trail north of the Middlebury Gap on March 15.

At around 2:30 p.m. that day, state police in New Haven were made aware that Kramer was overdue and missing somewhere in Ripton. He was reportedly hiking the Long Trail with weather conditions that were much more severe in the higher elevations than lower down. The state police report did not offer details about how long Kramer had been hiking, where he had started or his destination. But there were blizzard-like conditions high in the mountains on Thursday and with 40 to 50 inches of snow having fallen in the previous four days, hiking would be difficult and it would have been easy to become disoriented.

Multiple rescue teams responded for an extensive overnight search, including the Ripton and Hancock fire departments, U.S. Forest Service, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, Middlebury Snow Bowl Ski Patrol, Middlebury College staff, state police from both New Haven and Royalton barracks, Vermont State Police Search and Rescue, and Upper Valley Wilderness Rescue.

During the night, police received additional information indicating that Kramer may have been on the Long Trail north of Route 125 in Hancock. Search teams responded to that area and, after an all-night search, located Kramer at approximately 7:30 a.m. Friday morning, March 16. Additional personnel responded to assist in evacuating Kramer off the Long Trail. Police and rescue teams used the Middlebury College Snow Bowl lodge as the base area for rescue teams and the state police.

Kramer was taken to Porter Hospital for treatment of exposure and frostbite, and later transferred to UVM Medical Center in Burlington.

Separately, Vermont State Police responded to an alarm at the Champlain Beverage store on Route 7 in Leicester on March 15 at 1:01 a.m. Troopers discovered that someone had forced their way into the business and stole some items.

State police, with assistance from Middlebury police, located footprints left in the snow, presumably by the perpetrator. Police followed the footprints in the snow for approximately two miles before locating the suspect, who was identified as Dylan M. Greeno, 20, of Pittsford.

Police took Greeno into custody and took him to the New Haven state police barracks. After citing him for burglary, police released Greeno.

In other recent activity, troopers:

•  On March 14 at around 3:30 p.m. went, along with the Bristol Rescue Squad, to a one-car crash on Route 116 South near the intersection of Notch Road in Bristol. Police determined that the northbound 2014 Nissan Altima driven by Zachary Labelle, 30, of Hinesburg went off the eastern side of the road and struck a snow bank, causing damage to the front end and undercarriage. The rescue squad took Labelle to UVM Medical Center for treatment of unspecified injuries. During the investigation troopers became suspicious of alcohol impairment. After he was released from the hospital, troopers cited Labelle for driving under the influence, second offense.

•  On March 15 at 12:30 a.m. received a call from a mental health agency staff member at a residential treatment home in Salisbury who told police that an 83-year-old client named Kenneth Boule left the home on foot to walk to Middlebury in a snowstorm. The client returned to the home, and after police arrived he apparently was still agitated and told troopers that he wanted to go to the Porter Hospital Emergency Department to speak with a mental health crisis counselor. State police took him to Porter, and while he was being assessed Boule allegedly assaulted a 39-year-old male hospital staff member. Police cited Boule for simple assault.

•  On March 18 at a few minutes past 9 p.m. responded to a report of a one-car crash on North Orwell Road in Orwell. The caller told police that driver Chandler Reed, 21, of Brandon and his passenger had exited the vehicle and were not injured. State police determined that Reed was driving a 2001 Toyota 4 Runner southbound on the road when he failed to negotiate a curve, traveled off the pavement and hit a utility pole. Police report that they detected signs of impairment and cited Reed for driving under the influence of intoxicants.

State police operating out of the New Haven barracks release a daily log of a selection of their activities. In Addison County, those activities included:

•  March 13, vandalism, Hewitt Road, Bristol.

•  March 13, accident with damage, Route 125, Ripton.

•  March 13, assault intimidation, Upper Plains Road, Salisbury.

•  March 14, family disturbance, White Lane, Monkton.

•  March 14, accident with damage, Route 216 South and Notch Road, Bristol.

•  March 14, theft of a motor vehicle, Mason Hill North, Starksboro.

•  March 15, suspicious person or circumstance, Route 7, Leicester.

•  March 15, alarm, Route 7, Leicester.

•  March 15, motor vehicle disturbances, Plank Road, Bristol.

•  March 15, burglary/forced breaking and entering, Green Road North, Lincoln.

•  March 15, abandoned vehicle, Route 17 West, Addison.

•  March 16, abandoned vehicle, Leicester Central School, Leicester.

•  March 16, suspicious person or circumstance, LaRose Lane, Bristol.

•  March 17, motor vehicle disturbances, Morgan Horse Farm Road, Weybridge.

•  March 18, agency assist, West Street, Bristol.

•  March 18, citizen assist, West Street, Cornwall.

•  March 18, driving under the influence, North Orwell Road, Orwell.

•  March 19, 911 hang-up, Hardscrabble Road, Bristol.

•  March 19, citizen assist, Pulp Mill Bridge, Road, Weybridge.

•  March 19, citizen dispute, Route 116 South, Bristol.

•  March 19, driving under the influence, South Main St., Whiting.

•  March 19, agency assist, Route 7, New Haven.

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