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Truck Fire Shuts Down Section of Mohawk Trail

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A truck caught fire on the Mohawk Trail late Thursday afternoon, prompting police to close off a portion of Route 2 for about an hour and a half.

North Adams Police and Fire departments responded to the blaze, which occurred about a quarter-mile east of West Shaft Road.

North Adams Fire Director Steve Meranti said there were no injuries, and that the fire was contained to the tractor portion of the vehicle and did not spread to the trailer. He said the cause was most likely "a mechanical malfunction."

At approximately 4:30 p.m., two Dean's Quality Auto trucks arrived for cleanup and towing. Meranti expected the road to be re-opened by 5:30 p.m.

Check back later for more information.

Update at 7:04 p.m.

The truck, which was eastbound on Route 2,  was a white 2000 Sterling semi tractor-trailer driven by Edward J. St. John, 68,  of Royalston and owned by Kenneth D. Pratt, operating as Pratt Transport of Winchendon. The trailer is owned by B&B Truck Leasing of Jefferson, Maine.

Ambulances were dispatched but St. John was not taken to the hospital.

Tags: motor vehicle, fire      

Van, Car Crash on State Road

Staff Reports

Emergency vehicles responded to a two-vehicle accident on State Road on Thursday afternoon.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A two-vehicle accident slowed traffic just west of the Stop & Shop on State Road on Thursday afternoon.

A small blue 2008 Honda Vivic sedan apparently collided with the back end of a Berkshire Gas van shortly after 1 p.m. Both vehicles were in the eastbound lane.

The driver was still in the car at 1:12  p.m. and speaking to police. An ambulance, several cruisers and two fire trucks were dispatched to the scene. The driver was taken to North Adams Regional Hospital with unknown injuries.  We'll update with more information later.

Update at 6:51 p.m.:

The driver of the Honda, Kathleen M. Casey, 59, of Williamstown was charged with reckless operation of the motor vehicle.

The driver of Berkshire Gas' 2001 Chevrolet Express Van was Craig F. Hamelin, 49,  of  Cheshire.

Both drivers were taken to North Adams Regional Hospital by North Adams Ambulance. The Honda was towed by Cariddi Auto and the van by Dean's Quality Auto. The accident was reported at 1:07 p.m.

Tags: motor vehicle, accident, injuries      

Florida Crash Turns Fatal

Staff Reports

Updated May 31, 2010, at 9:50 p.m.; edited and rewritten throughout.

FLORIDA, Mass. —  An accident early Saturday evening has resulted in the death of a Connecticut woman.

A state police spokesman said Hazel Lavallee, 71, of Enfield, Conn., died Monday morning of injuries sustained in the single-car crash.

Lavallee was a passenger in the 2004 Hyundai Sonata driven by her husband, Richard Lavallee, also 71. Both Lavallees were airlifted to Albany (N.Y.) Medical Center on Saturday night with severe injuries.

The single-car crash occurred around 6 p.m. across the from the Whitcomb Summit on the Mohawk Trail.

The Lavallees were eastbound on Route 2 when the he apparently lost control of car and veered off the road, shearing off a utility pole and flipping the car onto the driver's side. The vehicle came to rest in the grassy glade across the highway from the Whitcomb Summit Motel.

The couple were the only occupants and were taken to North Adams Regional Hospital; from there they were airlifted to Albany.

A state police spokesman said he was not aware if Lavallee had been moved from Albany since Saturday.  He confirmed that there had been a report of an erratic driver just four minutes before the crash.

The accident is under investigation by state police.

What is left of the utility is above. Right, emergency responders try to push over the car after the passengers were transported to the hospital.



Tags: accident, motor vehicle, injuries, fatal      

Car Hits Two Houses in Great Barrington

Staff Reports

One of our readers in Great Barrington reports that a motorist slammed into two houses and trees on East Street on Sunday afternoon.

According to report, the driver, a young woman, lost control of her sport utility vehicle while southbound toward the intersection of Cottage and East streets. She ran into the south side of one house and into the yard, hitting two trees and then into the west side of another house.

Police and fire responded to a call at 3:30 p.m. for a car into a house at 68 East St. On arrival, Great Barrington Fire Chief Harry Jennings reported a SUV had hit two houses and damaged one tree.

No one was reportedly injured and the name of the driver was not immediately released. Police are investigating the accident.

Tags: motor vehicle, accident, house      

Car Hits House Porch in North Adams

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A Williamstown woman was taken to North Adams Regional Hospital after the car she was driving ran into a porch on West main Street.

Debora A. Harmatz, 50, of Maple Street was westbound at about 2:40 p.m. when her 1996 black Saturn CP left the roadway and rammed into the steps leading up to a porch at 287 West Main St. residence.

A call reporting the crash was made by an employee at the nearby Melissa's Hair & Nail Salon. A nieghbor said he came outside when he heard a loud crash and saw the car.

The Police and Fire departments responded to the scene, as did the North Adams Ambulance. A dog that was in the vehicle reportedly jumped out after the crash and the animal control officer was called.

The Saturn suffered front-end damage and was towed from the scene by Dean's Quality Auto; the wooden steps were demolished and a joist knocked out from the porch, along with other damage. No word if the dog was recovered yet.

Tags: motor vehicle, accident, injuries, property damage      
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