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Teen Charged in 12A Accident

Lebanon police officer Nicholas Alden escorts Calvin Warchal to a squad car after arresting him for driving while intoxicated and driving with a suspended license. Warchal, of West Lebanon, was the driver of a car involved in an accident on 12A in West Lebanon Monday afternoon. Near the car he was driving  is Lebanon officer Daniel Gaspard. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck)

Lebanon police officer Nicholas Alden escorts Calvin Warchal to a squad car after arresting him for driving while intoxicated and driving with a suspended license. Warchal, of West Lebanon, was the driver of a car involved in an accident on 12A in West Lebanon Monday afternoon. Near the car he was driving is Lebanon officer Daniel Gaspard. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Purchase photo reprints »

West Lebanon — A 19-year-old man faces two charges of driving while intoxicated and driving with a suspended license after police said he clipped an open trailer filled with lawn equipment and crashed into a curb on the other side of the road.

Calvin Warchal, of West Lebanon, was speeding down the Exit 20 off-ramp of eastbound Interstate 89 Monday around 2 p.m., police said, but instead of coming to a stop, he knocked down a light pole near the intersection and struck a trailer going south on Route 12A.

No one was seriously injured and the road wasn’t closed during the clean-up.

The collision dented the right rear wheel of the trailer and sent a yellow riding lawn mower, a blower and a wheel barrow into the street. The force of impact flung a trimmer onto the side of the road, near Colonial Plaza, and spun the white van towing the trailer back toward the Exit 20 ramp.

Police said Warchal’s blue Honda Civic then jumped the median on 12A and crashed into the curb on the other side of the road. After the accident, skid marks scarred the road, a thick puddle of fluids collected underneath Warchal’s car and front bumper was almost sheared off.

The Lebanon Police and Fire Departments responded a few minutes after the accident. Police questioned Warchal then lead him away in handcuffs and drove him to the station for further questioning.

Warchal was being held Monday at Grafton County House of Corrections, police said. His bail is set at $2,000.

The fire department evaluated Jeffrey Baker, the trailer’s driver. He had no serious injuries, police said. His wife arrived about 3 p.m. and said she was going to drive him to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

In an interview, Baker said he was hauling company lawn care equipment back to Claremont at the time of the accident. He was passing the I-89 exit ramp on 12A, he said, when the next thing he knew his vehicle was spinning around.

“I didn’t even see who hit me,” Baker, 57, said. “It happened so quickly that I don’t even know what happened. I guess it’s better that way.”

Motorist Melissa Fisher was stopped with her two daughters at the foot of the exit ramp. She said a driver “rocketed” down the ramp’s left-hand lane, knocking over a street light.

“It was so movie-like,” said Fisher, 36, of Quechee. “It was scary.”

Glass from the street light shattered across the road, Fisher said. She said the driver hit Baker’s trailer before winding up on the opposite side of the road. Some metal debris from the light pole left black scratches near the driver’s side mirror, she said, but no one in her car was injured.

“The most fearful part was not having any control,” Fisher said. “Knowing there’s nothing you can do while someone’s barreling toward you and your daughters. That’s not a good feeling.”

Fisher said a man in the car behind her got out to check on her family.

“Good news is, we’re lucky,” she said. “We’re not hurt.”

Zack Peterson can be reached at 603-727-3211 or zpeterson@vnews.com.