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Missing Pittsfield Plane Crashed in Vermont


Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The pilot of a small plane that left Pittsfield Municipal Airport on Wednesday died when the plane crashed on it's way to Middlebury, Vt.

The pilot was identified late Thursday afternoon as Norman Baker, 89, of Windsor. State Police said Baker was an experienced pilot who had been flying since he was 13.

Police say they located the crash site on the east side of Route 7 in the town of Pittsford. The plane sustained heavy damage and the pilot was deceased at the scene.

The plane, a white Cessna with maroon trim, was reported missing late Wednesday when the pilot failed to arrive on schedule.

The Federal Aviation Administration put out an alert for the plane. According to scanner reports, North Adams Police checked Harriman & West Airport to see if the plane had landed there.

Vermont State Police had checked reports of a crash around 5 p.m. on Wednesday in Pittsford.

The initial caller indicated a small aircraft was low flying over the area, and as it continued out of sight, the caller indicated they heard a loud noise.

State police, with the Vermont Civil Air Patrol and the Rutland Regional Airport, determined that there had been no evidence of crash at the time.
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Motorist Misses Hairpin Turn, Speeds Into Golden Eagle Parking Lot

Staff Reports
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — A driver headed up the Mohawk Trail missed the Hairpin Turn completely on Wednesday and sped through the small parking lot at the Golden Eagle Restaurant and slammed into owner's pickup truck.
 
The accident occurred around 1:30 p.m. and restaurant owner John Morris said it was the second time that day someone had missed the turn and ended up in his parking lot. 
 
This time, it was a small Buick Lacrosse sedan whose driver either failed to negotiate the tight turn or didn't realize it was there. He barreled through the parking lot, hit Morris' white Ford F250 and pushed it into a small shed at the end of the lot. The driver was able to back up the vehicle but it began to smoke.  
 
The driver, an elderly man, was the only occupant in the car. He was taken by North Adams Ambulance Service for medical treatment. 
 
The Golden Eagle has been the site of numerous crashes over the years, largely from trucks and vehicles coming down the steep incline. A stone wall was built to prevent cars from hitting the two-story restaurant, perched at the very tip of the hairpin.
 
But Morris said the problem is now the cars coming up the mountain who are failing to note the 15 mph speed limit and signs warning of the turn ahead. He's been putting orange cones out along his driveway as a visual reminder but had pushed them to the side today for delivery trucks to get in. The restaurant serves an annual Thanksgiving dinner for hundreds. 
 
The Buick incurred severe damage to the front end and was towed by Mohawk Towing. The damage to the truck wasn't clear but the shed's doors were knocked in and it appeared to have shifted. 
 
North Adams and Clarksburg police responded as did the Clarksburg Fire Department. 
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Pittsfield Police Break Up Alleged Prostitution Ring

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police have broken up an alleged prostitution ring.
 
Police arrested Randy Lambach, 45, of Becket, and Joseph VanWert, 65, of Pittsfield, on charges of human trafficking, knowingly permitting prostitution on the premises, and sexual conduct for a fee. They are currently being held without bail.
 
In the spring, the Department noticed an increased number of calls regarding proposition and solicitation in certain areas. Patrol officers gathered information, relating those involved in the alleged prostitution with narcotics addiction. 
 
Officer Brenna Dorr led a lengthy investigation which Police said revealed that women were being recruited by Lambach and that he facilitate sexual encounters. The women were then compensated in narcotics - including heroin, cocaine and prescription medication. 
 
"The women were recruited by Lambach, then photographed and advertised on social media sites. Lambach facilitated meeting locations with prospective 'johns' and transported these women to specified locations. He would often wait nearby to take a portion of the earnings. He would also compensate the women with narcotics in lieu of cash. This included heroin, cocaine and prescription medication," wrote Lt. Michael Maddalena in a release issued Tuesday morning. 
 
Police said the practice had been going on for several years. Nearly all of the women allegedly recruited by Lambach were suffering from drug addiction issues and VanWert's residence at a senior living facility was allegedly used as a place to conduct proposition.
 
Police say additional charges are pending. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Officer Dorr at 413-448- 9700 ext 384.
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Superior Court Briefs: Nov. 13 - Nov. 15

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, November 13.
 
Christopher Rathbun, 28, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate drug laws, and possession of cocaine.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $5,000 bail. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Lee on October 10, 2017.
 
Ronald Vachon, 34, of Greenfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on four counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14, two counts of rape and abuse of a child aggravated by an age difference, and a single count of disseminating harmful matter to a minor.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $10,000 bail. 
 
The incidents are alleged to have occurred in Florida between September 13, 2015 and December 22, 2015 and involved a girl who was 13 years old.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, November 14.
 
Michael Bailey Jr., 28, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime, and larceny from a building.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $10,000 bail. Bailey is accused of breaking into O'Brien's Market in Lenox on August 4, 2017 and the American Legion in Pittsfield on August 20, 2017 and taking ATM machines from each.
 
Nicholas Beauchamp, 29, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime, three counts of larceny from a building, and single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate drug laws, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and carrying a dangerous weapon.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $25,000 bail. 
 
Beauchamp is accused of breaking into O'Brien's Market in Lenox on August 4, 2017, the American Legion in Pittsfield on August 20, 2017, and O'Laughlin's Pub in Pittsfield on September 11, 2017. He allegedly took money from those businesses. The other charges are in relation to his arrest on September 28, 2017.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, November 15.
 
Justin Crawford, 20, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of illegal possession of a large capacity feeding device, illegal possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and possession of oxycodone.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $25,000 bail. The firearm charges stem from an incident in Pittsfield on October 2, 2017 and the drug charges are related to his arrest on October 10, 2017.
 
Joshua Luczynski, 34, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense - possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense - armed career felon, illegal ownership of a firearm, and improper storage of a firearm.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $7,500. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on September 28, 2017.
 
Matthew Rodriguez, 23, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of illegal possession of a large capacity feeding device, two counts of illegal ownership of a firearm, and single counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and drug violate within a school zone.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant in North Adams on October 12, 2017.
 
Christopher Vandesteene, 36, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime, three counts of larceny from a building, and single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $25,000 bail. 
 
Vandesteene is accused of breaking into O'Brien's Market in Lenox on August 4, 2017, the American Legion in Pittsfield on August 20, 2017, taking ATMs from each. He is also accused of breaking into O'Laughlin's Pub in Pittsfield on September 11, 2017 and taking money. The drug charges are related to his arrest on September 28, 2017.
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No One Injured in North Adams Head-On Collision

Staff Reports
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A head-on collision on Thursday closed a section of Massachusetts Avenue for close to an hour. 
 
No one was hurt in the noontime accident but both vehicles had to be towed from scene.
 
The accident occurred near 1406 Mass Ave., near the Blackinton Honor Roll shortly after noon. A westbound red older model Ford Explorer crossed the center line into the path of an eastbound gray Dodge Caravan, knocking the van up onto the banking on the north side of the road. 
 
Lt. Jason Wood said driver of the Ford told police he had dropped his cup of coffee, distracting him as the van was approaching. The driver was cited for not having a driver's license.
 
Both vehicles incurred front-end damage on their passenger sides; the van's front end was crumpled. The Ford was removed by Mohawk Auto and the van by Dean's Towing. 
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