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Barn holding Thetford Historical Society museum damaged in crash

  • Thetford Historical Society's Hughes Barn was struck by a driver on Route 113 in Thetford, Vt., on May 20, 2019. (Thetford Police photograph)

Staff Report
Published: 5/21/2019 5:54:21 PM
Modified: 5/21/2019 10:08:26 PM

THETFORD — A 19-year-old Thetford woman fell asleep at the wheel on Monday morning and crashed into a barn that serves as a museum for the Thetford Historical Society, police said.

Clare Swanson was driving west on Route 113 in Thetford Hill around 11:30 a.m. when she fell asleep, drifted across a grassy area and then encountered a dip that “vaulted” her Subaru wagon in the side of the Hughes Barn Museum, said Thetford Police Chief Mike Evans.

Swanson extricated herself from the car and was treated and released from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center with minor injuries, he said.

The museum, open on Sunday afternoons in August and on Labor Day weekend, was established in 1950 and houses artifacts and tools showing the town’s roots in the 18th and 19th centuries. Evans said a structural engineer may need to assess the building.

“They’ve got a lot of work to do to get that barn back in shape,” he said.

The Historical Society said the barn has been posted as unsafe to enter with caution tape in place. “Please respect these boundaries,” it said on its Facebook page on Monday. “We will update as we know more.”

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