I-91 Crash Closes Route 5 in Hartford

Hartford — A South Burlington man is uninjured following a crash on Interstate 91 in which a freight liner he was driving hit the guardrail, flipped on its side and caused Route 5 in White River Junction to be shut down for several hours early Tuesday morning.

Gary Balaun, 50, was driving his semi-truck north on I-91 in Hartford at about 60 mph when he “nodded off,” according to police. At about 1:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Balaun’s vehicle traveled off the west side of the interstate and into the median for about 470 feet before returning to the roadway. The vehicle then crossed both lanes of traffic and hit the guardrail. The vehicle flipped on its left side and damaged about 60 feet of guardrail.

The stretch of interstate where the accident occurred runs parallel to Route 5 in White River Junction. At 3 a.m., police issued a news release that said Route 5 southbound would be closed due to the accident. Route 5 was reopened by 6:15 a.m. Two orange cones could be seen Tuesday morning on the left side of the northbound lane of the interstate next to the damaged guardrails.

Balaun was issued a citation to appear in Windsor Superior Court on March 4 for negligent operation. Balaun was wearing his seatbelt.

— Sarah Brubeck