String of alcohol-related arrests and a high-speed crash Sunday

Driver airlifted to Boston with two broken femurs, internal injuries

What started as an abandoned vehicle investigation led to a string of arrests — including one for a high-speed crash — at the intersection of North Bennington and Gillis Hill roads early Sunday morning.

At 12:55 a.m., Bennington police responded to North Bennington Road for report of an abandoned vehicle. Police found a 1996 Jeep Wrangler that had struck a tree and been left on the side of North Bennington Road, according to Bennington Police Chief Steve Campbell. After searching the surrounding area, police located Hannah Towne, 24, of Temple walking down North Bennington Road. “[Towne] was not the registered owner of the vehicle, but she was responsible for it,” said Campbell during an interview Monday, meaning Towne was operating the vehicle.

Towne was charged with driving while intoxicated, conduct after an accident, disobeying a police officer and resisting arrest. She was released on $1,000 personal recognizance with a court date of July 10 at 6th Circuit Court, Hillsborough.

While police were arresting Towne, Campbell — unaware that the Wrangler driver had been located — flagged down a passing car at the intersection of North Bennington and Gillis Hill roads, in order to ask the occupants if they’d seen anyone walking along the road. Upon stopping the 2002 Honda Accord, driven by Sean Haggarty, 30, of Bennington and occupied by two passengers, Campbell allegedly noticed two open containers of alcohol.

Haggarty was charged with illegal transportation of alcohol; he did not appear to have been drinking and was released, so that he could drop his passengers off.

Minutes later, police and ambulance crews were working to secure the Wrangler crash scene when another vehicle approached on North Bennington Road.

“A car sped through the scene at a high rate of speed; seconds later, I heard a crash,” said Campbell.

The vehicle, a 1996 Mazda Protege, driven by Benjamin Holt, 24, of Antrim, crashed into a tree at a sharp turn. “The vehicle was traveling at a very high rate of speed, just 20 or 25 feet away from emergency personnel,” said Campbell.

Holt’s vehicle was totaled and Holt was airlifted to Boston Medical Center with two broken femurs and other internal injuries. As of Monday afternoon, Holt remains at Boston Medical and continues to receive treatment, according to hospital officials. Campbell said alcohol appears to be a factor in the crash; charges against Holt are pending.

Dylan Fisher can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235, or

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