Car Hits Building; Fire Consumes Both

November 5, 2008

A Vermont man was charged with negligent operation of a motor vehicle after losing control of his car, which hit a building and ignited a fire that did an estimated $500,000 damage, police said.

Robert Dragon, 18, of Hardwick, was driving through an intersection just before midnight Sunday when his 2004 Ford Explorer flipped over and landed on its wheels, coming to rest against the unoccupied three-story building.

Dragon and passenger Gabrielle Perez, 20, of Morrisville, escaped the vehicle before it caught fire. Perez, who was hurt in the crash, was taken to Copley Hospital in Morrisville. Her condition was unavailable Monday.

The fire, which destroyed the car, did an estimated $500,000 damage to the building, the home of Williams Business Agency, a bed shop and the Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union.

Police Chief Joe LaPorte says more charges could be filed once the results of Dragon’s blood tests are known. He was cited into court Nov. 5.

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