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Thieves Steal Scenic Viewers From Eastern Summit

An image of the viewers at the Eastern Summit, the empty decking and an image of a similar viewer provided by state police.

FLORIDA, Mass.  — State Police are investigating the theft of two scenic viewers that were stolen from the Eastern Summit on Route 2.

Preliminary investigation by Trooper Talitha McCarthy-Johnson indicates that two commercial binocular units, which were located next to the Eastern Summit Gift Shop, were cut from their platform and taken sometime between Feb. 27 and March 7.
 
The two binoculars, manufactured by Tower Optical, are constructed of bronze and cast iron and weigh approximately 305 pounds each. These binoculars are considered collectibles, given the relatively low number manufactured.
 
If you have any information relative to the whereabouts of these items, contact the State Police Barracks in Cheshire at 413-743-4700.
     

Three-Car Accident Closes Mohawk Trail

Staff Reports
iBerkshires

FLORIDA, Mass. — A three-vehicle accident involving a state police cruiser closed Route 2 for nearly two hours on Thursday morning. No one was seriously injured.

The accident occurred at about 7:18 a.m. on the Mohawk Trail near the Savoy line, according to David Procopio, state police director of media communications, when an eastbound dump truck crossed the center line and hit a westbound 2006 Chevrolet Silverado pickup towing a Bobcat on a trailer.

"A trooper from the Shelburne Falls barracks was behind the trailer with the Bobcat," said Procopio. It was not clear at this time whether the cruiser collided with the trailer or was struck by one of the trucks.

He said the preliminary investigation is pointing to a possible stuck accelerator on the 2014 Ford dump truck; the driver was trying to unstick it when he lost control and veered over the center line.

Procopio said it was not clear at this time whether the cruiser collided with the trailer or one of the trucks.

The trooper was taken to Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield with minor injuries. He is reportedly conscious and alert.

The driver of the dump truck, a 23-year-old man from Turners Falls also incurred minor injuries and was take to the North Adams campus of Berkshire Medical Center. The driver of the pickup, a 40-year-old man from Erving was not injured.

The highway was reopened by 9:30 a.m.

     

Six Facing Charges For Wind Farm Copper Theft

 

 

     

Driver in Dead Man's Curve Crash Facing Charges

Staff Reports
iBerkshires

The driver of the tractor-trailer that crashed last week is facing multiple charges.

FLORIDA, Mass. — The driver of a tractor-trailer that flipped over on Dead Man's Curve last Wednesday is facing multiple charges and the loss of his commercial driver's license.

Clement Leslie, 51, of Vineland, N.J., is still at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, where he is expected to undergo another surgery on Thursday.

State Trooper David McKearney of the Cheshire Barracks said Wednesday that he had served Leslie at the hospital with charges of operating to endanger, failure to stay within marked lanes and speeding.

"We believe he was reading a magazine while he was driving," he said. McKearney said Leslie told him that he took the turn too fast.

The accident is still under investigation.

The accident occurred at about 4:40 p.m. on April 11 and closed the state highway between Whitcomb Hill Road and Charlement until 2 the following morning. The load of lime Leslie was hauling was dumped across the steep incline above the Cold River when the truck crashed onto the guardrails. It took more than an hour to extricate Leslie from his crushed cab.  

McKearney, who has a background in federal and state trucking regulations, said Leslie was also in violation of the commercial vehicle enforcement section of federal truck laws. Some were mechanical issues with the truck that "were not contributory to the accident," said McKearney.

"The most important violation is the 14-hour rule," he said. Drivers by law are not allowed to drive beyond the 14th-hour of coming on duty, which for Clement was 2:30 p.m. "He should not have been on the road."

Leslie also failed to take a Breathalyzer within eight hours or a drug test within 32 hours of the accident, as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Leslie was driving for Paladino Farms of Rosenhayn, N.J. McKearney said they would move to immediately suspend his CDL license out of New Jersey.  

"We're going to do every thing we can to keep him from driving again," said the trooper.

 

     

Tractor-Trailer Accident Closes Route 2; Driver Taken to BMC

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires

A tractor-trailer accident on Route 2 sent the driver to BMC and closed the road for several hours.

Update: The driver, Clement Leslie, 51, of Vineland, N.J., was in guarded condition at BMC.

Update: Route 2 was still closed as of 11:30 p.m. Traffic was being diverted down Whitcomb Hill Road to Zoar Road.

FLORIDA, Mass. — A tractor-trailer crash along the infamous Dead Man's Curve on Route 2 left the driver trapped for more than an hour and dumped hundreds of pounds of lime across the steep incline above the Cold River.

The state highway was closed shortly before 5 p.m. from South County Road to Charlemont and was expected to be shut down until later Wednesday night.

The driver of the truck, who has not been identified, was taken by North Adams Ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield.

"He lost control coming down the hill," said Florida Fire Chief Michael Bedini. "He's lucky to be alive.

"We used the Jaws of Life and the wreckers to get where we had to go."

The truck was eastbound on the steep curving section of the highway went the driver apparently lost control coming around the curves and flipped the truck onto the guardrails. The cab of the truck was situated on its side in a way that the driver's head was just past the guardrail and his body still seat-belted in the cab.

Joseph Dean of Dean's Towing positioned two of his large wreckers with cables attached to the truck's underside while emergency responders jacked up the cab an inch or two at a time until they could cut away the driver's seat and pull him out. The driver was reportedly alert and speaking to rescuers during; state police reported that he did not have life-threatening injuries.

State police investigators were at the scene and pointed to the cab's destroyed dashboard and broken off brake controls. The truck apparently sliced through a section of the guardrails before coming to rest on top them.

Clarksburg Fire Department also responded to the scene.

The semi is owned by Paladino Farms of Rosenhayn, N.J., which transports agricultural, fuel and building supplies, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The trailer was carrying pallets of lime, bagged as ViCALity Albaglos, a product of Specialty Minerals in Adams. Dean said the trailer was destroyed and would have to be removed in pieces.

While the dangerous curve has seen plenty of crashes in the past, firefighters at the scene couldn't think of one this significant in the last few years. "It's been a long time since we had an accident up here," said Bedini. 

This is the second significant accident in three weeks on the steep state highway. On March 25, two tractor-trailers collided head-on in North Adams when one lost its brakes coming down the west side of the Mohawk Trail. Both drivers survived the crash.

 

 

 

 

 

     
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