Vermont State Police Log: VSP seeks witnesses to road death

ADDISON COUNTY — A Shoreham man was killed in a motorcycle crash in Orwell last week.

Vermont State Police report that Michael Mattison, 62, was driving a 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan southbound on Route 22A at around 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday, July 18, when he lost control of the cycle. The motorcycle veered from the lane and into the shoulder on the east side of the road, according to police. Mattison and his Kawasaki then re-entered Route 22A, where it slid on its side, caught fire and then came to rest in the northbound lane. Mattison, who was wearing a helmet, sustained fatal injuries, police said.

Police said the weather was overcast, but the roadway was dry.

State police said their on-scene investigation suggested there were other motorists in the area at the time of the crash and troopers would like to hear from those drivers. Anyone who saw the crash or has other information on this incident is asked to contact Trooper Brandon Slaney at [email protected], or call 802-388-4919.

State police were assisted by Middlebury Regional EMS and the Orwell Volunteer Fire Department.

 During the past fortnight, state police also responded to three other motor vehicle crashes — one also involving a motorcycle.

On July 13 at a little before 9:30 p.m., troopers looked into a report of a motor vehicle crash on Lake Dunmore Road in Leicester. State police report that Ethan Poploski, 22, of Ripton was driving a 1985 GMC truck northbound on Lake Dunmore Road, crossed the centerline, overcorrected, left the wet roadway, and struck a tree head-on. Poploski’s passenger, 24-year-old Alexander Sheldrick of Salisbury, sustained suspected serious injuries as a result of the crash. 

Police suspect that Poploski sustained minor injuries. Neither man was wearing a seatbelt.

The truck was totaled.

While speaking with Poploski, troopers detected indicators of impairment. They took him to the New Haven barracks for processing, cited Poploski driving under the influence and negligent driving, and released him. 

State police also are looking into a separate incident on July 14 in which a car struck a parked UPS truck and then fled the scene. Troopers report that on that Friday at around 7:30 p.m., when the roads were wet, a 2017 GMC Denali HD rounded a corner headed west on Hollow Road near Monkton Road, crossed the center line, partially went off the road, and struck the parked UPS truck. UPS driver Levi Vincent, 32, of Swanton was standing in the truck when the impact occurred, and was taken to UVM Medical Center for suspected minor injuries. 

The UPS truck sustained damage to the front driver’s side and was considered a total loss.

The driver of the Denali fled the scene.

Anyone with information regarding this crash is encouraged to contact the New Haven state police barracks at 802-388-4919, or leave an anonymous tip online a

Finally, on July 24 at about 1 p.m., troopers rushed to a motorcycle crash at the intersection of Route 7 and Dakin Road in Ferrisburgh. Police said Travis M. Brigham, 40, of Grand Isle, was driving a 2010 Harley Davidson Street Glide southbound on Route 7 when he lost control of cycle while trying to stop for traffic in the road. The Harley left its lane of travel, crossed into the southbound shoulder, and crashed on the southbound shoulder of Route 7. The Vergennes Area Rescue Squad took Brigham, who was wearing a helmet, to University of Vermont Medical Center for suspected minor injuries.

Troopers were assisted on scene by members of the Ferrisburgh Fire Department and VARS.

Separately, troopers dealt with various road closures brought on by flooding. For instance, state police closed Route 7 in Middlebury near Three Mile Bridge Road at around noon on July 15 because of water on the state highway. Police alerted the public that Smead Road in Salisbury was closed earlier that day.

In other recent activity, state police troopers:

• On July 12, at 11:59 p.m., stopped a vehicle on Monkton Road near Route 7 in Ferrisburgh, identified the driver as Valerie Howe, 51, of Huntington, and discovered she had an extraditable warrant from New Hampshire stemming from a charge in 2019. Police said they arrested Howe, took her to the barracks for processing, and released her with a citation to appear in Addison County Superior Court, Criminal Division.

• On July 15 at 8:45 a.m., were notified of a road-rage incident related to a minor motor vehicle  crash occurred on Route 7 in Leicester. Police investigated and determined that David Gale, 56, of Leicester and Seth Decelle, 41, of Salisbury “recklessly engaged in violent and tumultuous behavior” while in their vehicles on a public highway. 

Police said they cited both men for disorderly conduct.

• On July 17, saw brewing trouble in in the Meehan Road area of Bristol come to a head. On July 16 and 17, troopers received numerous complaints involving incidents stemming from the presence of Dana L. Lavallee, 63, of Bristol. A police investigation into these complaints showed Lavallee had allegedly driven a vehicle in a negligent manner on a public highway and had threatened to cause harm to others. during the early evening of July 17, they cited her for negligent driving and criminal threatening.

• On July 19 at around 8 p.m., stopped a driver after spotting a motor vehicle on Route 7, near the intersection of West Salisbury Road in Salisbury. Police ended up citing David Thorner, 46, of Rutland, for driving under the influence of drugs. Vergennes and Middlebury police assisted in this case.

• On July 23 at around 8 p.m., stopped a vehicle being driven in Rutland by Fletcher Johnston, 28, of Middlebury. State police cited Johnston for driving under the influence, third offense.

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