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Man Charged With Leaving Scene of Fatal South Royalton Crash

  • Jeremy Potwin

Published: 8/6/2017 7:46:29 AM
Modified: 8/7/2017 10:39:10 AM

South Royalton — Police say they have arrested a 38-year-old Bethel man and charged him in the fatal Friday night crash that killed a passenger from Royalton.

Jeremy Potwin was arrested without incident at his home in Bethel on Saturday and charged with leaving the scene of an accident with death resulting, gross negligent operation with death resulting and driving with a license that has been criminally suspended, according to a Vermont State Police news release early Sunday.

Police say Potwin was driving a car that slammed into a guardrail Friday night, killing James R. Arbuckle, 38, who was a passenger in the car.

Royalton Police and Vermont State Police responding to reports of a car crash around 9:30 p.m. Friday on Back River Road in South Royalton found a 2002 Toyota Corolla had struck a guardrail and was totaled, police said.

Arbuckle was killed by “injuries sustained in the crash” and was dead when police arrived at the scene, according to the police news release.

The driver had left the scene before police arrived, authorities said on Saturday.

Linda Arbuckle, James’ sister, said on Sunday that her family doesn’t hold a grudge against Potwin. Family members intend to be in court today in order to say that he made a mistake.

“He died with his best friends and that is the only consolation I have,” Arbuckle said.

“The driver of the car was a very good friend. The guy in the back seat was his very best friend.”

Arbuckle said she has fond memories of her brother.

He had children later in life, and so he treated nephews and nieces like they were his own.

“My brother was an amazing man,” she said.

“My brother helped me raise my kids. Kids were his thing. He would take the time to take the kids fishing or go swim with them.”

James Arbuckle was also very loving, Linda Arbuckle remembered, saying he called his mother on a daily basis.

Potwin is being held on $25,000 bail at Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, Vt., and is due in Windsor Superior Court today.

Posted at 7:40 a.m. Sunday. Updated at 11:30 p.m. Sunday.

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