Democrat Sue Minter and Republican Phil Scott at an earlier debate
Monday’s Vermont gubernatorial debate has been postponed so the two candidates can attend a vigil for the five Washington County teenagers killed in a weekend car crash.
Democrat Sue Minter of Waterbury and Republican Phil Scott of Berlin are planning to attend a 6 p.m. vigil at Harwood Union High School in Duxbury. Five area teens, all high school students, died late Saturday night when a pickup truck traveling in the wrong direction hit their car on Interstate 89 in Williston.
State police have identified the five teens as Eli Brookens of Waterbury; Janie Cozzi and Liam Hale of Fayston; and Mary Harris and Cyrus Zschau of Moretown.
Gov. Peter Shumlin, who also plans to attend the vigil, called Monday for flags to be flown at half staff until Thursday.
Minter’s son, Jasper Goodman, is a junior at Harwood, where four of the teens were his classmates. The fifth, a former classmate, attended Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire.
The debate, sponsored by AARP Vermont, had been scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in South Burlington. With less than a month to go before the election, AARP Vermont president Greg Marchildon said Monday that he hopes to reschedule the event.
The advocacy group Rights & Democracy, which had planned a march to the debate, will shorten that event and hold a moment of silence for the crash victims, said James Haslam, the organization’s executive director. The group will continue with its Indigenous People’s Day clean energy rally at the University of Vermont Davis Center from 5-6 p.m., Haslam said.