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Great Barrington Police Officer Killed in Friday Morning Crash

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — An off-duty Great Barrington police officer died early Friday morning after his pickup truck hit a tree on Prospect Hill Road in Stockbridge.

Stockbridge Police Chief Darrell Fennelly said 25-year-old Ryan A. Storti of Muddy Brook Circle was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which was reported shortly after 2 a.m. According to a statement from the Great Barrington Police Department, Storti was alone and on his way home when he lost control of his truck and struck a tree on the side of the road.

The investigation is being conducted by members of the Stockbridge Police Department with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section.

"Officer Storti was a wonderful young man and police officer," Great Barrington Police Chief William Walsh said in a statement. "He was everything we wanted in a police officer and was part of our future. We're all struggling right now as we also try to support Ryan's family. Please keep them all in your thoughts."

Storti, a 2008 graduate of Monument Mountain Regional High School, had been a reserve officer in Great Barrington until being appointed to a permanent position in 2015. He graduated from Berkshire Community College and from the Western Massachusetts Police Academy in Springfield.

"Officer Storti was a rising star for our police department. I am devastated to learn of his sudden death," Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin said in a statement. "This is a tragedy and an enormous loss for the Police, our Town and the entire community. Our hearts go out to Ryan's family and all who loved him and worked with him every day in public service. He will forever be in our thoughts and prayers."

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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Pittsfield Police Cruiser Involved in Collision

PITTSFIELD. Mass. — An on-duty police officer was involved in a motor vehicle accident Thursday evening at the intersection of First and Fenn streets.

Preliminary investigation indicates that the accident occurred as the officer was traveling eastbound at about 6:32 p.m. on Fenn Street in a marked cruiser. It has not determined if any emergency equipment was in use at the time.

As the officer proceeded across the First Street intersection, a collision occurred with a 2014 Ford F-150, traveling southbound on First Street. The operator of the Ford F-150 was a 29-year-old Lee man. The involved officer was transported to Berkshire Medical Center where he was treated and expected to be released this evening. The operator of the F-150 declined treatment at the scene.

The accident remains under investigation by the Accident Reconstruction Unit and the Pittsfield Police Department is asking any witnesses to contact Lt. Jeffrey Bradford at 413-448-9700.

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Pittsfield Police: Reports Of Luring Attempts At Reid Proved False

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Reports that someone had been trying to lure Reid Middle School students into a van in March have proved to be false.
 
Police released a statement on Wednesday saying one of the alleged victims admitted the story was fake and no attempt had occurred.
 
On March 23, two girls reported that a man in a blue van attempted to lure them into it as they walked to school. The investigation "brought to light several inconsistencies in the victim's statements," police said. 
 
"When confronted with the contradictory evidence, one victim's family declined to participate in the investigation any further, and the other female declined to respond in a way that would explain why her story did not match contradictory evidence. At this time, it appears both reports were false and that there was no actual incident involving a blue van," police wrote in a statement.
 
Five days later another report was made by a juvenile man who reported that a man in a white pickup truck told him to get in as the student left the school. Again police found contradictory evidence and ultimately the alleged victim "admitted that the story was a fabrication and that no luring attempt had taken place."
 
The reports of some one trying to lure students trigger alarm among parents and school officials. The School Department issued a call asking for parents to pick up their children at the school and to be aware of the events. 
 
"In both cases, the members of the Pittsfield Public School system and the Pittsfield Police Department worked closely together to ensure the safety of our children and our community. Incidents of this nature are given the highest priority over other matters and require a great deal of our finite manpower resources to investigate. We would ask that parents of school age children take this opportunity to discuss the importance of being truthful when reporting incidents or interacting with the police," the statement reads.
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17-Year-Old Man Shot In Pittsfield

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A 17-year-old man was shot Sunday on Bartlett Avenue.
 
Police say the man was transported to Berkshire Medical Center for treatment of the non-life threatening injuries around 9:58 p.m. The victim is declining to cooperate with investigating officers, police said.
 
According to police logs, officers responded to reports of shots fired twice in the area Sunday. The first call was received shortly before 4 p.m. Pomeroy was closed by officers between East Street and East Housatonic Street. The 9:58 call was at the 100 block of Pomeroy and Bartlett, less than a block away on the other side of East Housatonic Street.
 
The shooting remains under investigation and police are asking anyone with information to call Det. Glenn Civello at 448-9705. 
 
"The investigation is active and on-going and we appreciate the cooperation we have received from the public so far," reads a statement from the Police Department.
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Adams Head-On Collision Results in Fatality

Staff Reports

ADAMS, Mass. — A 17-year-old North Adams man was killed in a head-on collision early Saturday evening on North Summer Street. Three other people were injured.

Zackary Decker, a student at Drury High School, suffered severe injuries to his head and neck after being ejected from vehicle he was in. He died shortly afterward at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield.

"It is with profound sadness that I write this letter to the community of the North Adams Public Schools," wrote Superintendent James Montepare on the  North Adams Public Schools' website on Monday. "Zackary Decker, a student at Drury High School, died as a result of injuries from an automobile accident Saturday evening. On behalf of the district I extend our sympathies to his family, friends and classmates."

It was also stated that grief counseling and support services were being provided to any students or staff members in need. Information on grief and trauma was also provided for parents and students on the website. Montepare said there would be a team of school counselors and that the North Adams Police Department would ensure that "school is a safe environment for your children."

The crash was reported at 5:14 p.m. on Saturday, near the intersection with Staple Street.

According to police, Gregory Bartlett of Lime Street was southbound on North Summer in his 2014 Mazda when James Morandi of Hall Street, North Adams, veered into his path in a 1999 Toyota Corolla.

Decker's name and condition were not immediately available on Saturday night; police confirmed there was a fatality on Sunday. Two others were taken by ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield and the fourth was taken by a relative.

The state police accident reconstruction team and Crime Scene Services were requested. The accident is under investigation by Adams Police and state police detectives.

Morandi is a student at Berkshire Arts & Technology Public Charter School; his other passenger has not been identified. Bartlett was the sole occupant in his vehicle.

Officer Michael Wandrei said charges are expected to be filed once the investigation is completed. "We have a lot to go through first," he said.

Adams Ambulance Service, North Adams Ambulance Service and the Adams Fire Department responded to the scene. That section of road was closed until the vehicles were removed at about 8:30 p.m.

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