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Great Barrington Police Investigate Motor Vehicle Accident

Great Barrington Police

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. – Police, Fire Department and Southern Berkshire Ambulance responded to a motor vehicle accident with multiple injuries on Wednesday night on State Road in front of Plaza Package.

The accident, which was reported at 5:01 p.m., involved a 2003 Subaru operated by Ronald J. Fonte, 44, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and a 2001 Audi operated by Dennis G. Gibbons, 31, of South Egremont.

Fonte was uninjured in the crash; however, Gibbons and his two passengers required treatment at area hospitals. Gibbons and passenger Jeremy Martel, 36, of Sheffield were transported to Fairview Hospital by Southern Berkshire Ambulance. Gibbbons' other passenger, Cody Kickery, 26, of Great Barrington, was transported by Southern Berkshire Ambulance and County Ambulance paramedics to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield.

No information on their status is available at this time.

Initial investigation by Officer Daniel Bartini revealed that Fonte attempted to turn left into Plaza Package in front of Gibbons' vehicle, resulting in a head-on collision. At this time, no charges have been filed and the accident remains under investigation.

Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is requested to contact police at 413-528-0306.


Patrick Names Former Pittsfield Solicitor For Judgeship

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Former City Solicitor Michael McCarthy was nominated by the governor Friday as an associate justice of Southern Berkshire District Court.

McCarthy is an associate with the city firm of George, DeGregorio, Massimiano & McCarthy since 1989. Prior to that, he was the city's solicitor for two years, assistant district attorney for five years and an assistant district attorney in Portland, Maine, for one year. He is a graduate of Assumption College and the University of Maine Law School.

McCarthy will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge James B. McElroy. He was previously nominated for the post in August 2012.

Secretary of Public Safety Mary Heffernan was also nominated as Circuit Justice.

"I also am pleased to re-nominate Michael J. McCarthy to serve on the bench in Berkshire County. I thank both of these nominees for their commitment to the fair administration of justice and their willingness to serve the Commonwealth in these challenging new roles," Gov. Deval Patrick said in a prepared statement Friday.

Additionally, the governor resubmitted four pending judicial nominations to the Governor's Council in Geraldine S. Hines as an associate justice of the Appeals Court; and Angel Kelly Brown, Brian A. Davis and Robert B. Gordon as associate justices of the Superior Court. The nominees are being resubmitted because the Governor Council’s term ended before they were considered.


Plane Crashes At Great Barrington Airport

Staff Reports

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — At least one person was injured after a small plane crashed on takeoff from Great Barrington Airport on Tuesday evening. The victim was taken to the hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries, according to YNN.

There were reportedly two people in the Piper Cub.

The crash was reported shortly after the plane took at 6 p.m. by FireGround360. It apparently came down across the line in Egremont near Route 71.

Egremont firefighters were called to the station; scanner reports stated the plane was 400 to 600 feet from the runway and "in trees" near Pumpkin Hollow Road.

No further information was immediately available.

Tags: plane, crash      

Arsonist Targets 8 Buildings in Great Barrington

Nichole Dupont

Update: Thursday, 10 p.m.: Red Crow News reports that artist David Pixley, 62, was arraigned Thursday morning in Southern Berkshire District Court on on two of counts of arson, five of attempting to burn buildings, and three of attempting to burn vehicles.

Pixley is being held on $50,000 bail after being caught by police in the early morning hours allegedly trying to set a fire at TD Banknorth. Pixley allgedy fled the scene, according to Red Crow News, and police gave chase, taking him into custody at his 20 Hollenbeck Ave. apartment.

Update Thursday, 10:48 a.m.: Police have arrested a suspect in connection with at least two of Wednesday's arson fires in Great Barrington. The unidentified man was arrested at about 2 a.m. on Thursday morning when he was found in the parking lot of TD Banknorth on 271 Main St., allegedly in the act of trying to start yet another fire.

Debris behind Barrington Outfitters. The back of the building sustained damage after someone set fire to it.

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Eight buildings in the downtown and three motor vehicles were targeted by an unknown arsonist early Wednesday morning. Police are looking for a man wearing a dark-colored poncho and black North Face winter gloves.

Fires were set at Barrington Outfitters on Main Street and Lee Bank; combustibles were found in the other locations but no fires set, according to authorities.

The blazes occurred at about 1:40 a.m., according to a statement from Town Manager Kevin O'Donnell, and were brought under control by the Fire Department and four mutual aid towns. No one was injured in either case.  

"Police investigation determined that the fires were set. Five other buildings, Shopper's Guide, Foster's Hardware, Toole Insurance Agency, Berkshire Block and Gypsy Joynt, locations adjacent to the Foster's Hardware parking lot, were also targeted as well as the Tune Street building on Railroad Street with combustibles and flammable liquids, but were not set on fire. Three vehicles in the Foster's parking lot had flammable liquid applied to them, but were not burned."

Barrington Outfitters was closed earlier this morning while police and contractors assessed the damage, which was done to the back of the store. Police and the owners, the Druckers, declined to comment on the blaze.

The second fire started in a vacant store front in the Lee Bank building that was left unlocked. Fire Chief Harry Jennings used the town's reverse 911 system to notify business owners about clearing debris and securing their businesses properly at night.

Police picked up a homeless man, 19-year-old Matthew Wilcox of Egremont Plain Road, who they said broke into the storage shed behind Barrington Outfitters. According to the town statement, police do not believe Wilcox was involved in the fires but he has not been ruled out. He was arraigned this morning in Southern Berkshire District Court on charges of breaking and entering and trespassing.

Police are working with the state police Crime Scene Services, troopers assigned to the state fire marshal's office and district attorney's office, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. They canvassed the downtown area and distributed a photo of the suspect.

The fire marshal's Arson Reward Program offers up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Anyone with information is asked to call 800-682-9229 or Police Chief William Walsh at 413-528-0306.

Tags: fire, structure, arson      

Great Barrington Crashes Leave Two Dead

Staff Reports

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Police are investigating two serious motor vehicle crashes on Wednesday afternoon that left two dead.

According to police, the first accident occurred at 12:50 p.m. Janet E. Chase, 62, of Sheffield died on the scene when her BMW sedan veered into the northbound lane of Route 7, just north of the Sheffield/Great Barrington line, and crashed head-on with a Honda minivan in the northbound lane. The van was driven by Maureen L Boisvert, 50, of Needham. Boisvert was taken to Berkshire Medical Center with severe injuries.

While state and local police were investigating that accident, a vehicle backing out of Timberlyn Heights nursing home on Maple Avenue (Route 23) was struck by a westbound vehicle. Phillip Hoffman, 90, of Sandisfield died at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield overnight as a result of the crash. His wife, Ann, 88, is at Berkshire Medical Center with "life-threatening injuries" as of Thursday.

The other driver, Brian K. Deland, Jr., 34, of Ashley Falls, was treated and released from Fairview Hospital.

That accident occurred at 3:10 p.m. and is being investigated by state and local police. 

Also last night a Jeep Cherokee collided with a tractor-trailer near the New York state border on Route 20 in Hancock.The driver of the Jeep was taken to Berkshire Medical Center while the driver of the truck was unhurt. Route 20 was shut down for more than an hour.

Tags: fatal, motor vehicle, accident, injuries      
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