Vermont State Police Log: Addison man dies after non-suspicious gunshot

ADDISON — An Addison man was killed by an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound during the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 27.

Vermont State Police reported that 22-year-old Dawson McGrath of Addison succumbed to his wound. Detectives continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding this incident and preliminary findings indicate this was non-suspicious in nature. Police said McGrath’s body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for autopsy to help determine cause and manner of death.

Troopers received a 911 call at around 7:53 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27, reporting a person with a gunshot wound at a residence on Pleasant View Drive in Addison. Emergency responders from the Vergennes Area Rescue Squad, Addison Fire Department and Life-Net of Ticonderoga, N.Y. converged on the scene.

State police troopers also rushed to the Addison address and were later joined by detectives with Vermont’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Life-Net transported McGrath by helicopter to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington. He was initially listed in critical condition, but died.

An obituary for Dawson McGrath appears on Page 6A of today’s edition.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact detectives at the New Haven VSP barracks at 802-388-4919. Tips also may be submitted online anonymously at

In other recent activity, VSP twice alerted the public to state highways that were temporarily closed due to water on the roads.

On Sunday, Oct. 31, at 1 p.m., police reported Route 116 South in Bristol was temporarily closed between Carlstorm and Cove roads. Then the next morning, Monday, Nov. 1, troopers were telling drivers to seek an alternate route if driving in the vicinity of McCuen Slang in Addison on Lake Champlain near the Bridport town line. A 500-foot stretch of Route 125 was closed in the area of Whitney Creek Drive in Addison due to a washout. The washout was south of the Chimney Point State Park.

Both roads were opened after water receded.

An unexpected occurrence of a different nature resulted in the closure of Route 7 near the intersection of New Haven Road in Ferrisburgh on the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 28. The highway was reduced to one line of traffic for nearly three hours while police cleared a traffic accident.

State police also dealt with a traffic accident on Monday, Nov. 1, in Bristol. At around 6:22 p.m. that day, police responded to a report of a two-car crash at the intersection of Monkton Road and Burpee Road. Troopers report Gregory Symula, 55, of Essex Junction was driving northbound on Burpee Road and reportedly ran a stop sign and broadsided a southbound vehicle driven by Stephen Smith, 34, of Bristol.

Both Drivers were wearing seatbelts and no injuries resulted from this crash, police reported. They issued a traffic ticket to Symula.

State police were assisted on scene by the Bristol Fire Department and Bristol Rescue Squad.

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