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North Adams Motorcycle Accidents Injures Two

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A Clarksburg man and a Pittsfield woman were transported to the hospital after sideswiping a parked car with a motorcycle early Thursday morning.

William Valotta, 25, of Clarksburg was traveling east on East Main Street with passenger Nikki Shaw of Pittsfield when they collided with the parked car at about 12:45 a.m., according to North Adams Police.

Police reported that Valotta was found pinned under the motorcycle and Shaw was located a few feet away.

Both were transported by North Adams Ambulance Service to the hospital.

     

Tractor-Trailers Stuck Under North Adams Trestle Twice in One Month

Staff Reports
iBerkshires
A stuck truck closed off traffic on Church Street on Monday.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A section of Church Street was blocked off for nearly three hours on Monday afternoon after yet another tractor-trailer got stuck under the railroad trestle.

A trailer hauling 25,000 pounds of machined metal, reportedly for a Disney ride, became wedged under the trestle at about 4:15 p.m. after leaving Morrison Berkshire on Church Street. The delivery was on its way to Minneapolis.

Traffic was blocked between Davenport Street and Ashland Street. The truck was pulled out from under the trestle shortly before 7 but it was going to take some time to stabilize it before Joseph Dean of Dean's Quality Auto & Truck Repair could remove it from the scene.

The top of the trailer was peeled back nearly halfway and Dean said it had broken in half. Air was let out of the tires and the cargo removed by Morrison Berkshire before an attempt was made to pull it out.

Pan Am Railways also had a representative at the scene and all train traffic was halted until the trestle could be inspected.

The trestle dates back at least a century and its clearance is posted at 12-foot-6 on the south end and 12-foot on the north. Signs warn drivers of the approach but several trucks seem to get stuck under it every year, and occasionally under the Ashland Street trestle. One of the most recent incidents occurred on July 30.

A neighbor said he frequently sees trucks trying to back up on the south side. Drivers don't seem to realize they are not going to fit under until too late — or that the slope on the north side of the bridge may be a factor.

The semi left the scene shortly after 7 p.m. and was slowly escorted to Dean's on Curran Highway.

     

Motorist Crashes Fence at North Adams Ambulance

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A Williamstown woman is being charged with negligent driving after crashing into the fence outside the North Adams Ambulance Service on River Street.

According to the police log, Gail Massari, 50, was eastbound in a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am when it crossed the middle line and slammed into the decorative fence and flagpole at the edge of the service's parking lot at the corner of River and Harris streets shortly after noon on Saturday.

The pole was bent over and at least two sections of the fence are crumpled. Police and fire responded to the incident but no one was injured. Another vehicle, a 2009 Toyota Camry, was also damaged.

Amalio Jusino, assistant manager of the ambulance service, said the woman was driving down Massachusetts Avenue when she crossed lanes and crashed into the fencing, causing damage.

"She stated she was petting her dog and was not able to navigate the corner and struck our flag pole and fence and damaged one vehicle," Jusino said.

The Pontiac was towed by Cariddi Auto. Massari was summonsed with charges of negligent operation of a motor vehicle and a marked lanes violation.

     

North Adams Woman Found Guilty Of Social Security Fraud

Staff Reports
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A North Adams woman was ordered to pay $72,635 back to the federal Social Security Agency after being convicted of fraudulently obtaining Social Security disability benefits.
 
Nancy Killackey, 57, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mark Mastroianni on Monday to 18 months of probation and to pay the more than $70,000 in restitution. 
 
Killackey received the money from the agency by intentionally concealing the wages her husband earned. She collected the money from Jan. 1, 2002 through Oct. 1, 2013.  
 
On July 21, 2011, she told federal agents that the man was not her husband. When asked why he had claimed they were married, she described him as "a big, fat liar" and "an idiot off his medication," federal authorities said. She then claimed that the date her husband listed as their wedding date was actually a date he had a heart attack.
 
Killackey was found to have received the benefits that she was ineligible for when prosecuted in U.S. Federal Court in Springfield.
 
Edited at 12:37p.m., Aug. 13, to clarify the benefits were for disability.
     

Drury High Graduate Killed in Phoenix

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A Drury High graduate was shot to death in her Phoenix, Ariz., home on Friday.

According Arizona media reports, the body of Shayley Estes, 22, was discovered by her roommate. Police have arrested her former boyfriend, Russian national Igor Zubko at Sky Harbor International Airport on Friday evening.

Estes had reportedly been dating Zubko and had allowed him to move into home for a time. Her mother, Shannon Estes, told news channel KPHO (CBS5AZ), that in living together, her daughter had seen "another side" of Zubko and broke up with him and took out a restraining order. He allegedly sent her threatening texts.

According to reports, a handgun and shell casings were found at the scene. Zubko apparently still had a key to her apartment and was waiting for her when she came home; she was shot when she tried to flee, according to police. KPHO reported that he told police he had purchased the gun off the Internet.

Zubko had a one-way ticket to San Francisco when he was apprehended, according to police. He was arrested on charges of first-degree murder, as well as burglary, kidnapping and several other related charges.

Estes was an honors student at Drury, graduating in 2011. She had recently graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in chemistry.

A gofundme account has been set up to help Estes' mother defray the cost of bringing her daughter back to the Berkshires for burial.

     
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