2 Local Young People Die In Motorcycle Crash In Derby

Vermont State Police investigate the scene of a fatal accident Tuesday afternoon on Shattuck Hill Road in Derby involving this RCT bus and a motorcycle. (Photo by Robin Smith)

DERBY — Two young people died Tuesday afternoon when a motorcycle struck a Rural Community Transportation shuttle bus on Shattuck Hill Road, Vermont State Police said.

The two victims are motorcycle operator Ronald Kennedy, 23, of Newport City and passenger Kyra Birchard, 20, of Derby, state police said.

The driver of the shuttle, Steven Lawson, 64, of Newport City, was wearing a seat belt and was not injured.

State police said the shuttle had turned left onto Shattuck Hill Road from the Derby Trailer Park when the motorcycle struck the shuttle on the driver’s side at 3:11 p.m.

Kennedy was pronounced dead at the accident scene, police said.

An ambulance crew transported Birchard to North Country Hospital where she was pronounced dead in the emergency room, state police said.

Excessive speed on the part of the motorcycle “is believed to be a key factor in the crash,” state police Trooper Penny Pennoyer said.

Shattuck Hill Road is a posted 35 mph zone. Road conditions were good.

The investigation is ongoing.

The shuttle, a 2017 Ford, had damage on the driver’s side. Debris from the destroyed 2015 Harley Davidson motorcycle was under the bus and strewn across the roadway.

The accident shut down Shattuck Hill Road between the Walmart entrance and Community Drive during the afternoon commute in the busy Derby commercial corridor. The road reopened in the early evening Tuesday.

Derby Line Fire Department, Orleans County Sheriff’s Department and local ambulance crews responded.

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