On July 16, 2004 at approximately 22:23 p.m. hours, Vermont State Police Sgt. Cooper was attempting to stop a 2004 Honda, Rincon, all terrain vehicle on the Shawville Rd. in the town of Sheldon, Vt. The ATV eluded Sgt Cooper but shortly thereafter struck a bridge abutment fatally throwing the operator and passenger from the vehicle over the bridge railing.
The operator of the ATV was later identified as Ryan Forty (12-01-1986). The passenger was identified as Brandon Rainville (02-18-1986). It was determined that both riders were deceased at the scene as a result of the accident.
An investigation by Vermont State Police Trp. Young, revealed that Forty and Rainville were riding an ATV attempting to flee from Sgt. Cooper who had observed them riding on the Shawville Rd. in Sheldon in violation of Vermont Title 23. The ATV riders fled north on the Shawville Rd., crossed Mill St. and continued north. Sgt. Cooper lost sight of the ATV almost immediately but observed that one of the riders had thrown a beer can onto the Shawville Rd. The beer can was a 12 oz. Coors Light can. The can was recovered as evidence.
Sgt. Cooper came upon the Shawville Rd. Bridge and discovered the ATV at the end of the north side of the bridge, with the headlights off and still running. After removing the ATV from the traveled portion of the highway, Sgt. Cooper observed numerous Coors Light cans scattered along the bridge. Sgt. Cooper recovered a partially emptied 18 pack of Coors Light cans from the scene that was later collected as evidence.
The father of the ATV operator, Greg Forty, discovered the bodies of the riders the next day. It was determined that both riders were not wearing any protective gear.
It was determined the night of the accident that Forty and Rainville had been in possession of alcohol and were not of legal age to possess or consume such alcohol. Later in the investigation, toxicology results from the State's Medical Examiner further concluded that alcohol had been a factor in the case.
In a cooperative effort with the Vermont State Police, Investigator Matthew Gonyo with the Vermont Department of Liquor Control conducted an investigation into the alcohol violations related to the accident. After several months of following up on leads and conducting several interviews, it was determined that on the night of the accident that Forty and Rainville had allegedly attended two separate "get-togethers" with friends at private residences. While at the "get-togethers", both Forty and Rainville, along with several other minors, were seen consuming alcoholic beverages and were allowed by residence owners to consume alcoholic beverages at the homes in violation of Title 7 VSA Section 658.
On March 28, 2005 at approximately 18:00 hours, Investigator Gonyo and Trp. Rick Desany with the Northern Unit for Special Investigation arrested Mike Rebello Sr., 48, of Enosburg Falls. Mr. Rebello was charged with two felony counts of Enabling Consumption of Alcohol by Minors, three misdemeanor counts of Enabling Consumption of Alcohol by Minors and three counts of Furnishing Alcohol to Minors.
On March 29, 2005 at approximately 14:30 hours, Mike Rebello (II), 19, and Joey Judd, 20, were arrested and charged. Mike Rebello (II) was charged with two felony counts of Enabling Consumption of Alcohol by Minors and three misdemeanor counts of Enabling Consumption of Alcohol by Minors and one count misdemeanor Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor. Joey Judd was charged with two felony counts of Enabling Consumption of Alcohol by Minors, two misdemeanor counts of Enabling Consumption of Alcohol by Minors and one misdemeanor count of Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor.
This case is still under investigation. Several other minors that were identified and had consumed alcohol at the "get-togethers" will be issued their respective paperwork.
For further information, please contact William J. Goggins, Director, Education, Licensing, and Enforcement Division, Vermont Department of Liquor Control.