State police say the driver of a van that left the road in St. Johnsbury Center and nearly went into the Passumpsic River with herself and two children inside was driving under the influence of alcohol. Megan Austin, 31, of St. Johnsbury, was cited by Trooper Griffin Pearson for charges of second offense DUI and two counts of child cruelty. Austin was driving north on Fenton Road in a 2016 Honda Odyssey when she encountered another vehicle coming from the opposite direction. She told Trooper Pearson that in her effort to give enough room to the other vehicle she veered toward the shoulder of the road and lost control of the vehicle, which slid down the embankment toward the river. The woman in the other vehicle, Ashley Wood, and Jon Smires, who witnessed the emergency from across the river, helped Austin and her daughters out of the vehicle, which was unstable a few feet from the river. Trooper Pearson and Trooper Kyle Fecher responded to the crash. Trooper Pearson said Austin was showing signs of impairment and there were open alcoholic beverage containers in the van. Sobriety tests confirmed her impairment. Austin is scheduled to be arraigned in Caledonia Superior Court on Jan. 8. The vehicle, despite its instability, did not topple into the river and was pulled back onto the road by Caledonia Wrecker Service. The trooper noted there was only “superficial” damage.
- A man allegedly scammed three banks in the Northeast Kingdom for thousands of dollars
- A former professor at Harvard Medical School accused of secretly impregnating a patient