Ripton father of three killed in Route 7 crash

SALISBURY — A 40-year-old Ripton man was killed Thursday morning after the car he was riding in was struck head-on by an oncoming vehicle on Route 7 in Salisbury.
Vermont State Police report that the two-car crash occurred around 6:30 a.m. on April 20 just north of the Salisbury Hog Farm, near Pomainville Drive.
After talking to witnesses, police determined that Shawn Newell, 33, of Vergennes was driving a 2010 Mazda MZ3 northbound at a high rate of speed, passing slower vehicles that were ahead of him.
At the same time, Christina Walker, 40, of Ripton was driving a 2008 Chevy Malibu southbound on Route 7 with Brian Kerr as a passenger. Walker and Kerr have been long-term companions.
When Newell travelled left of center to pass a vehicle in front of him, he pulled into Walker’s path.
Both Newell and Walker attempted to avoid a crash by driving into the breakdown lane, but the two cars did collide. Upon impact both vehicles left the roadway before coming to rest west of Route 7. Police said the skies were cloudy and the road was wet.
Middlebury Regional EMS rushed Kerr to Porter Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead there. He is survived by Christina Walker, his companion of 22 years, and their three children, Andrew John Kerr, Cori Rose Kerr and Liberty Grace Kerr.
The ambulance crews tended to Walker for multiple injuries, including neck, back and internal injuries, and to Newell for a broken arm and internal injuries; took them both to Porter and then on to UVM Medical Center. On Friday afternoon as the Independent went to press, both Walker and Newell were listed in “fair” condition. UVM explains that “fair” condition means the patient’s vital signs are stable and within normal limits; the patient is conscious, but may be uncomfortable, and indicators are favorable.
Both vehicles were judged to be total losses. Salisbury Fire Department volunteers helped police at the scene.
The Vermont State Police requests that anyone who witnessed this crash or who may have additional information regarding this incident, please contact the New Haven barracks at 802-388-4919.
This investigation remains active; criminal citations remain a possibility.
The funeral service for Brian Emmett Kerr will be held on Thursday, April 27, at 10 a.m., at the Miller & Ketcham Funeral Home in Brandon. The graveside committal service and burial will take place at a later date in Cook Cemetery in Ripton.
Following the ceremony the family will receive friends at Brandon American Legion, for a time of remembrance.
Friends may call at the funeral home on Wednesday, April 26, from 4-7 p.m.

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