By Carla Occaso
BARRE — A homeless man, Nathan Hislop, 38, of Barre, faces up to two years in prison and a $3,000 fine for injuring a pedestrian with his Toyota Corolla and fleeing the scene. Barre City Police reported Hislop had hit Brian Carchide, 40, near a crosswalk in front of the Champlain Farms store on South Main Street on Monday, Feb. 22, at 6:10 p.m.
Emergency responders transported Carchide to the hospital with a possible broken leg.
Hislop’s two passengers also initially fled the scene, but later called 9-1-1 and helped Barre Police find the suspect as he left his room at the Quality Inn, 173 South Main Street, Barre, according to reports. After prodding by Corporal Jacob Frey, Hislop admitted driving the vehicle and hitting the pedestrian, and was taken into custody.
Upon first responding to the crime scene, Officer Michael Reale reported in an affidavit he arrived at Champlain Farms around the same time as Corporal Jacob Frey and Officer Amos Gaylord. Reale saw a man lying in the northbound lane of South Main Street. He identified the man as Carchide, who was lying about 30 feet north of the crosswalk. Carchide told Reale of pain in his leg.
Reale then spoke to a witness, who said she did not see the crash but talked to one of the passengers in the car that hit Carchide. That person also left the area after the crash. The witness named the passenger as Moriah Benway, 25. A police dispatcher also identified the person who called 9-1-1 as Benway. Corporal Frey reported that he knew Benway from previous professional encounters.
Benway had told Frey she asked Hislop to stop after he hit Carchide near the crosswalk, but Hislop said, “I just (expletive) killed somebody. I am not stopping.” Hislop let Benway and her boyfriend, Nelson Barney, 28, out of the car, and Benway said she went to check to make sure the man was alive before leaving. Benway told Frey Carchide’s boots flew off his feet upon impact with Hislop’s car, so they brought the boots to the side of the road.
Benway had told police she and Barney got a ride with Hislop as they were walking to the store. Benway reported she did not stay on scene after the incident because she was “freaking out.” Instead, she returned to where she was staying, the Hollow Inn, 278 South Main Street. Barney told police where Hislop had been staying — The Quality Inn. Barney knew Hislop because Hislop would give him rides to the BAART Programs methadone clinic located on Comstock Road in Berlin, court documents state.
After questioning Benway and Barney, Corporal Frey went to the Quality Inn looking for Hislop. Upon entering the inn, Frey inadvertently encountered Hislop leaving his room. When Frey questioned him about what happened, Hislop first tried to blame Carchide for jaywalking, but finally admitted to hitting him and leaving. Hislop said he left because other people told him to.
Police searched Hislop after placing him under arrest and found a small packet of prescription Suboxone. Police also found a small cylinder with his name on it containing clonazepam and an empty heroin “ticket.” Police took him into custody, charging him with a felony for leaving the scene of an accident.
Hislop was later released on conditions and with an order to appear in Washington County Superior Court on Tuesday, Feb. 23. Hislop complied. After appearing in court, he was charged with violating the Vermont law of “leaving the scene of a crash — serious injury” by leaving the site where bodily injury occurred and thereby failing to “immediately stop and render assistance reasonably necessary…” He was also charged with operating his vehicle in a negligent manner. The maximum penalty is two years in prison and a $3,000 fine.
The court released Hislop under the following conditions: First, that he comes to court when told. Second, he must give his address to the court clerk and immediately inform them if it changes. Third, that he must not drive any motor vehicle, including a car, truck, or motorcycle. Fourth, that he must not have any drugs without a prescription. Fifth, that he must not have any contact with Brian Carchide, Moriah Benway, or Nelson Barney by writing, telephone, e-mail, or through a third person. Finally, he must call a pretrial monitor for a needs screening.
Officer Reale also reported he contacted Carchide’s sister, who said Carchide had a broken leg and needed surgery.