Bus hits 75-year-old woman in Middlebury

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury police are investigating an Aug. 10 traffic accident that seriously injured a 75-year-old Washington, D.C., woman who was struck by an Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) bus at the intersection of Merchants Row and Main Street.
Police said the woman, identified at Anne Curtis Odom, was struck in the roadway at around 3:35 p.m. and sustained “severe traumatic injuries.”
Odom was initially taken to Porter Hospital, then transferred to Fletcher Allen Healthcare, where she was listed in critical condition as the Addison Independent went to press on Friday.
Police on Wednesday said neither speed nor alcohol appear to have been a factor in the accident.
James Moulton, executive director of ACTR, said the full-time bus driver involved in the accident — identified by police as Michael J. Rizner, 54, of Middlebury — has been with the organization for almost two years and has now been placed on paid leave pending the completion of the police investigation. The organization’s protocols for serious accidents also call for the driver to submit to drug and alcohol testing, according to Moulton.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the woman and her family,” Moulton said.
Nancie Dunn owns the Sweet Cecily shop at 42 Main St. Her storefront window overlooks the crosswalk on which Odom was hit. Dunn did not see the actual accident, but did witness its aftermath.
“There was an amazing group effort to make (the victim) feel as comfortable as possible,” Dunn said, specifically citing a passing cyclist who rushed to the woman’s aid.
Another helper grabbed a curtain rod from Sweet Cecily to serve as a tourniquet to stem bleeding from one of the victim’s injuries.
“I was amazed by how quickly police and ambulance arrived,” Dunn said.
It was after the woman was taken away that witnesses and passersby suddenly allowed themselves to come to grips by what they had seen.
“It was very distressing,” Dunn said of the incident.
“Sometimes having a window on Main Street is great; sometimes it is difficult.”
Reporter John Flowers is at johnf@addisonindependent.

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