VSP investigates double-fatal crash following police pursuit in Colchester

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont State Police is investigating a single-vehicle crash in which two men were killed and three others were injured Friday, May 31, 2024, in Colchester.

The crash occurred at about 7:35 p.m. in the vicinity 1172 East Lakeshore Dr. while the vehicle was being pursued by members of the Colchester Police Department. Two occupants of the vehicle were pronounced dead on scene, and three other occupants were detained by police and subsequently transported to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington for treatment of injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening.

Per policy, the Colchester Police Department requested that the Vermont State Police respond and assume the lead role in investigating this incident.

The preliminary investigation, including information provided at the scene by Colchester Police Chief Pete Hull and Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad, has determined the following: The incident began in Burlington when five men were involved in the theft of a 2024 Ford Expedition; at least one of the men brandished a firearm during the incident. 

Members of the Burlington Police Department attempted to locate the vehicle and subsequently initiated a pursuit. 

The Expedition fled into Colchester along the Beltline, where it nearly struck a marked Colchester police cruiser. Burlington police discontinued their pursuit when the vehicle entered Colchester. 

Colchester police officers then began to pursue the vehicle from West Lakeshore Drive onto East Lakeshore Drive, at which point the Expedition overturned.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash.

Identification of the deceased individuals is pending further investigation and autopsies at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington, which also will determine the cause and manner of their deaths. The Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s Office has been notified of the crash.

Following their policies, both the Burlington and Colchester police departments will conduct internal reviews of the vehicle pursuit. In addition, Burlington police is conducting a criminal investigation of the reported assault and vehicle theft.

East Lakeshore Drive remains closed as of 12:30 a.m. Colchester Rescue, St. Michael’s College Rescue, and the Burlington and Colchester fire departments assisted at the scene.  The Vermont State Police Crash Reconstruction Team also responded.

State police investigators ask that anyone with information that could assist in this investigation call VSP’s Williston Barracks at 802-878-7111. Anonymous tips may be submitted online at https://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.

No further information is available at this time. The Vermont State Police will continue to provide updates as the investigation continues.

COLCHESTER, Vermont (Saturday, June 1, 2024) — The Vermont State Police

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