The Vermont State Police disseminate press releases for significant criminal or public safety incidents and arrests, but it is not intended to document every public contact or response to a call-for-service. If you have a question regarding an incident or case, please contact your local state police barracks or the public information officer. Please note press releases are available on this blog for 6 months following their public release. Please contact the public information officer if you need access to one that is older.

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July 22, 2016

FW: Press Release/VSP Williston/Case 16A103651/Tractor trailer fire/I-89 Richmond







CASE#: 16A103651

TROOPER: Metayer                                                        

STATION: VSP Williston                     



DATE/TIME: 07/22/16 at approximately 16:39

LOCATION: Interstate 89 northbound mile marker 75, Richmond, VT

INCIDENT: Tractor Trailer Fire


OPERATOR: Frank Lovely Jr.                                                                                       

AGE: 49




                On 07/22/16 at approximately 1639 hours Vermont State Police Williston received a 911 call from a motorist reporting that a tractor trailer truck was driving on I-89 northbound with a trailer tire that was on fire.  The truck was near mile marker 75 in the town of Richmond. 

                The driver of the truck, later identified as Frank Lovely Jr. age 49 of Plattsburgh, NY, pulled the vehicle over near mm 75 and disconnected the tractor from the trailer.  The rear section of the trailer was on fire and despite the efforts of Lovely and several other motorists to extinguish it, the fire continued to grow.

                Troopers from the Williston barracks responded along with an Officer from the Richmond Police Department and an Inspector from VT DMV Enforcement Unit. The Richmond and Bolton Fire Departments also responded and extinguished the fire. 

                It is believed that the fire originated due to a faulty brake on one of the trailers axles which was full of assorted dairy products, for Hood LLC. 

                The Interstate was closed while the fire crews worked to extinguished the flames but later reopened one lane of travel while crews worked to remove the trailer.  Due to the time of this incident, significant traffic delays were incurred by NB motorists and at points, traffic was noted to be backed up to Waterbury.  The roadway was reopened completely by 2045 hours.


The Vermont State Police would like to remind motorists that Vermont is a “hands-free” state and that it is illegal for an operator of a motor vehicle to use a cellphones while a vehicle is in motion.  While at the scene, Troopers observed numerous operators using their cellphones to video or photograph what was going on (while driving by multiple police, fire and EMS personnel).  Several operators were stopped and issued tickets for use of a mobile device while driving (through the incident scene) as their actions threatened the safety of all who were on scene.      


Trooper Jacob Metayer

Vermont State Police

Williston Barracks


Phone (802) 878-7111

Fax (802) 878-2742




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