Vermont State Police Log: Drivers do a switcheroo during high-speed chase

ADDISON COUNTY — A Middlebury woman and a Middlebury man in a stolen car on Monday night led Vermont State Police on a wild chase in which they swapped positions as driver and passenger while the car was in motion.

Troopers at the New Haven barracks got a report on Feb. 16 at around 10:41 p.m. that police were pursuing a car in Hinesburg and headed toward Starksboro. The car was reported to be one stolen from a Middlebury woman a day earlier.

Troopers located the vehicle and were unsuccessful in their attempt to stop it. State police said the vehicle continued and the operator and passenger swapped seats while the vehicle was actively moving, nearly causing a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle.

The vehicle fled but troopers found it again a short time later on River Road in New Haven, where the man and the woman were taken into custody. Police identified the two assailants as Samantha Jarvis and Matthew Cooke, both 32 years old.

Since they were both suspected of driving the car during the chase both were cited for eluding police, grossly negligent driving, reckless endangerment, possession of stolen property, speeding and driving without the owner’s consent.

In addition, Cooke was cited for two counts of violating his conditions of release, driving under the influence (second offense) and driving with a criminally suspended license. He was jailed at Marble Valley Correctional Facility with bail set at $1,000.

Jarvis faced the additional citation of violating conditions of release four times. She was jailed at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility with bail set at $1,500.

In other recent activity, troopers:

• On Feb. 14 at approximately 8:33 a.m. responded to a two-car crash on Monkton Road near Owl Mountain Road in Monkton. The road was reported to be snowy and icy, the weather cloudy.

Police said that Gage Schrier, 22, of San Francisco, Calif., was driving a 2021 Subaru Crosstrek northbound on Monkton Road while Ania Mortier, 46, of Lincoln was southbound behind the wheel of a 2022 Toyota 4Runner. Schrier apparently lost control of his Subaru and the vehicle began to spin, subsequently entering the southbound lane and colliding with Mortier’s Toyota head-on.

Schrier and Mortier, who were both wearing seatbelts, both sustained minor injuries. Both vehicles were totaled.

Monkton Road in the area of Owl Mountain Road was temporarily reduced to one lane of travel. Schrier was taken to Porter Hospital; Mortier was taken to UVM Medical Center.

State police were assisted by the Monkton Volunteer Fire Department, Vergennes Area Rescue Squad and Bristol Rescue Squad.

• On Feb. 15 at a little after 4:30 p.m. responded to a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Route 17 and Green Street in New Haven. Police allege that Joan Humiston, 85, of Ferrisburgh failed to stop and yield at the intersection and as a result the front end of her 2015 Toyota Corolla struck the driver’s side of a 2012 Dodge Ram driven by William Masterson, 77, of Lincoln. No injuries were reported, but both vehicles were totaled. Troopers were assisted by Vergennes police and rescue.

• On Feb. 20 at around 11:20 p.m. saw a motor vehicle violation on Route 7 near Town Hill Road in New Haven and stopped the car. The trooper identified a passenger as 46-year-old Stephanie Barbagallo of Proctor, and the officer found that she had an active instate warrant for her for failure to appear stemming from the charge of simple assault. So they arrested Barbagallo without incident and took her to the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, where she was held for lack of $200 bail.

• On Feb. 23 at 5 p.m. went to the scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Route 7 and Greenbush Road in Ferrisburgh.

 Police report that Anthony Perreault, 34 of Colchester was driving a 2012 Hundai Genesis northbound on Route 7 behind a 2017 Nissan Leaf driven by Michael Cianciola, 28, of Colchester. As Cianciola was attempting to make a left hand turn onto Greenbush Roard, Perreault apparently attempted to pass on the right, and rear-ended Cianciola’s car, which then went off the eastbound shoulder of Route 7. No one was hurt; both cars were totaled. 

State police were assisted by the Ferrisburgh Fire Department. A traffic ticket is pending.

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