BENNINGTON -- Two people were killed and one airlifted to Albany Medical Center Monday when a vehicle tried to pass a tractor trailer on Route 7 and collided with an oncoming car.

Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette said at 10:35 p.m. a 2002 Oldsmobile being driven by Jamie R. Sorel, 36, of Bennington, was headed north on Route 7 and attempted to pass a 2006 Freightliner tractor trailer being driven by Steven D. Klatt, 57, of Weare, New Hampshire.

Doucette said it is believed Sorel was traveling at an excessive speed and attempted to pass the truck in a no-passing zone.

Sorel collided head-on with a 1998 Volkswagen Jetta being driven by Danny C. Thomas, 26, of Pownal, who had come around the bend south of Carpenter Hill Road. The impact collapsed both driver side compartments, lifted Sorel's vehicle off the ground and spun it into the side of the tractor trailer.

Both cars ended up in the southbound lane while Klatt brought his vehicle to a stop.

Sorel and Thomas were killed, while Klatt was not injured.

Tori Green, 19, of Pownal, was a passenger in Thomas' vehicle. She suffered significant injuries and was airlifted to Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York.

Sorel, Thomas, and Green were not wearing seatbelts, police said.

Alcohol is suspected to be a factor in the crash, but Doucette said no specifics would be released until autopsies are completed.


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Bennington Rural Fire Department, the Medical Examiner's Office, and Mahar and Son Funeral Home were at the crash scene along with Bennington Police. Route 7 was closed for four hours.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at kwhitcomb@benningtonbanner.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.