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Stone Wall barn hit by truck (again)

CORNWALL — At least this time, the cows were not put off their milking. A wayward driver slammed into the corner of a barn at Stone Wall Dairy Farm on Route 7 in Cornwall March 5. Farmer and property owner Chris Hopkins said a support pole at the north end of the barn was hit and that the wall was moved about an inch to the west by the force of the impact.William Morehouse, 48, of Sharon, and a Cornwall resident until recently, was driving north on Route 7 that afternoon. Just before 3 p.m., he came upon a car stopped in front of him. Driver Christine Franks, 37, of South Kent was signaling and preparing to turn left into the farm, which sells raw milk and other items. Morehouse passed Franks on the left, in a no passing zone. The 2001 GMC pickup truck, registered to Adrian Selby of Cornwall, sideswiped the 2003 GMC Suburban. It continued into the farm where it crashed into the barn. Hopkins has been at the farm for about six years. This is the second time that corner of the barn, which sits close to the road at an angle, has been hit. “The last time was in the morning while we were milking. There was a big crash. The cows were pretty upset. I wasn’t home this time.”The barn is used for storing hay and equipment, and seems not to be severely damaged, he said.The last time, there wasn’t a foundation under it, so when the support pole was knocked out, the damage was worse. A lot of improvements have been made to the barn since, including the installation of solar panels. Hopkins is waiting on the insurance adjustor to make an inspection and has been advised to have the solar voltaic system checked. Otherwise, it has not disrupted his business.Police reported Morehouse left the scene. He was arrested when he returned to remove items from the severely damaged truck. Hopkins said a neighbor told him Morehouse had walked up the road to his home and was covered in blood. The neighbor said the driver seemed to be trying to avoid adding to his arrest record; his license was already under suspension for driving under the influence. Franks was not injured. The Suburban, registered to J&J Log Lumber Corp., sustained damage to the left front quarter panel. Morehouse was charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, failure to drive right, unsafe passing, evading responsibility and interfering with an investigation. He is to appear in Bantam Superior Court March 19.

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