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Vt. trucker struck and killed on Interstate 91 in Hartland

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 4/5/2021 11:15:18 AM
Modified: 4/5/2021 9:19:16 PM

HARTLAND — A 66-year-old truck driver from the Northeast Kingdom was struck and killed while walking along Interstate 91 near his disabled tractor-trailer early Monday morning, according to a news release from Vermont State Police.

Gary Starr, a farmer and trucker from Jay, Vt., was reported dead at the scene on Interstate 91 in Hartland shortly before 6 a.m., the news release said. Police said Starr was driving his truck southbound on the interstate when it became disabled and he pulled over to the side of the road. After turning on his flashers and setting up traffic triangles behind his truck, Starr walked down the road in the travel lane, the release said.

As Starr was walking, 35-year-old Tristan Blanchard, who was driving a 2013 Dodge Dart, rounded a bend in the interstate and struck the trucker, according to police.

“Blanchard reported that he attempted to avoid the collision but was unsuccessful,” the news release said.

Police closed southbound I-91 near the accident for more than five hours Monday morning while they investigated the crash. No charges are expected, according to the news release.

Jon Farrar, who drove by the accident after it occurred, said he saw the truck sitting to the side of the road, and the orange Dodge Dart stopped with “heavy front end damage.”

Starr’s family recalled him as as an avid farmer who loved his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“He’s just a family guy,” said son Andy Starr. “Everything in his life was about his family.”

Anna Merriman can be reached at or 603-727-3216.

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