Police: Local woman died in Vermont crash

Aug. 28—Police in Bennington, Vermont said a Hartwick woman died last week in a vehicle crash in that area.

According to a media release from Bennington police, officers were dispatched about 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22, to Vermont Route 279 east of the U.S. Route 7 connector for a report of a serious injury motor vehicle crash. The Bennington Rural Fire Department and Bennington Rescue were also dispatched to the crash.

Officers found two vehicles, one in the eastbound lane and the other off the side of the road, the release said. The vehicle in the eastbound lane was a 2018 Dodge 3500 truck with a sleeper camper affixed to the bed. The camper dislodged from the truck as the result of the impact of the crash, and landed on the opposite side of the guardrails. The operator of the truck, William Francis, 66, of Bristol, New Hampshire, was extricated by emergency personnel. The operator and his passenger were transported to Southwestern Vermont Health Center. Both were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The second vehicle, a 2022 Jeep Cherokee, was driven by Laura J. Seeley, 39, of Hartwick. Seeley succumbed to her injures the next day while being treated at Albany Medical Center in New York, the release said.

Police said Seeley was traveling west on Route 279 and Francis was traveling east. A preliminary investigation revealed Seeley's Jeep crossed the centerline into the eastbound lane, colliding with the truck and causing extensive damage to both vehicles and the roadway, the release said.

The highway was closed for 3 1/2 hours while the crash was being investigated.