Vermont State Police identifies individuals involved in fatal Colchester crash

COLCHESTER, Vermont (Monday, June 3, 2024) Vermont State Police — Following further investigation and the completion of autopsies, the Vermont State Police is able to confirm the identities of the two individuals killed in the Friday night rollover vehicle crash on East Lakeshore Drive in Colchester. They are:

  • Damanuel McLeod, 19, of Brooklyn, New York.
  • Tywon Parker, 28, of the Bronx, New York.

 

In addition, the surviving individuals who were in the vehicle are identified as:

  • Tayami Barnes, 31, of the Bronx, New York.
  • Ron A. Thomas, 21, of Brooklyn, New York.
  • Juvenile male, 18, of Richmond, Virginia.

 

Barnes and Thomas are facing criminal charges related to cocaine possession and distribution in the Burlington, Vermont, area. These charges are the result of a Burlington Police Department investigation related to conduct leading to the police pursuit and vehicle crash. These charges are outside the scope of the crash investigation being conducted by the Vermont State Police. Questions about the criminal case should be directed to Burlington police.

VSP’s investigation focusing on the crash itself remains active and ongoing. At this point, the state police has been unable to establish conclusively who was driving the vehicle during the pursuit from Burlington into Colchester. Burlington police terminated the pursuit on Vermont Route 127, also known as the Beltline, and the Colchester Police Department picked up the pursuit a short time later after the suspect vehicle nearly collided with a CPD cruiser after entering the town.

The Vermont State Police Crash Reconstruction Team has determined that none of the five occupants of the SUV was properly restrained at the time of the crash. Both McLeod and Parker were fully or partially ejected from the vehicle. Speed is believed to have been a primary factor in the crash on East Lakeshore Drive, where the speed limit is 25 mph.

Police continue to ask that anyone with information that could assist investigators in this case call the state police barracks in Williston at 802-878-7111 or provide an anonymous tip online at https://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.

***Update No. 1, 5:55 p.m. Saturday, June 1, 2024***

The investigation into the Friday night crash in Colchester that killed two people and injured three others continued throughout the day Saturday. 

At this time, the Vermont State Police does not know the identities of all the parties involved. Investigators are awaiting the results of autopsies being performed at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington.

This investigation is active and ongoing. VSP asks that anyone with information that could assist in this investigation, including people who might have video of the police pursuit that preceded the crash or who may have witnessed this incident, call the Williston Barracks at 802-878-7111. Anonymous tips may be submitted online at https://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.

***Initial news release, 12:45 a.m. Saturday, June 1, 2024***

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.

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