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Chaircar Van Collides With Two House in North Adams

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A County Ambulance Chaircar Service van crashed through the corner of one house and into another on State Road early Friday afternoon after the driver fell unconscious.
 
"Apparently the driver had some type of medical episode and slumped over and the vehicle proceeded to drive right off the road," Police Director Michael Cozzagio said. "The driver was pulled out of the van, CPR was in progress and they are transporting him to the hospital, unknown on his condition."
 
There was one passenger in the van in a wheelchair who was being taken to a medical appointment. The passenger had been strapped in securely but was shaken up, Cozzaglio said, and also was taken to the hospital as a precaution. 
 
"He appeared to be OK but he was shaken up having just had a conversation with the driver, he witnessed the event," he said. "The driver suddenly slumped over and the accident occurred."
 
There were occupants in the two houses but no one else was injured. 
 
The Ford van was heading east at about 12:35 p.m. when it appears to have jumped the curb near Grant Street; tire tracks could be seen in the grass as it crossed several lawns and plowed into the east corner of 284 State Road, then through a simple fence and came to rest on the corner of 282 State Road. 
 
Both single-family homes incurred damage, but 284 State suffered the worst. The east column of an enclosed porched was ripped out and the entire enclosure, including the front door, pulled away from the main building. 
 
Building Inspector William Meranti inspected the building and found no further damage to the main structure. Fire Director Stephen Meranti said the power had been turned off but an electrician was hand to restore it so the homeowners could stay. 
 
The house at 282 State appeared to have minimal damage to the west corner of an enclosed porch although several concrete blocks in the foundation were pushed in. 
 
The State Road accident came on the heels of two other more minor accidents, one at River and Canal and another on Church Street, all within 20 minutes or so. 
 

State Road was reduced to the westbound lane for about an hour. The van was towed by Mohawk Auto Wrecking.

Updated at 2:15 p.m.: complete write-thru

     

Head-on Collision on Beaver Street Injures Three

Staff Reports
iBerkshires
Update 9 p.m., Sept. 29:
 
Deborah Ernst, 60, driver of the Murano, is being charged for operating under the influence of alcohol and  has been determined to be at fault for the accident. Ernst is a resident of Readsboro, Vt., and was operating her father's vehicle.
 
The driver and passenger of the minivan were both women in their 40s; one incurred head injuries and one chest injuries. Both were taken to BMC in Pittsfield. Ernst was taken to SVMC at her request for neck, back and shoulder injuries. None of the injuries were life-threatening, Sgt. James Burdick said
 
Both vehicles were totaled, and the sergeant said speed was not a factor in the accident.
 
"This is the first time that I know of there was an accident there," Burdick said of concerns raised about the jersey barriers that have been in place for three years. "This was because of drinking."

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A head-on collision on Beaver Street Thursday night injured three people and will result in charges for one of the drivers. 

The crash occurred about 11:20 p.m. and came over the scanner as a motor vehicle versus jersey barriers. Then dispatch called for more ambulances. 
 
A 2007 gray Nissan Murano with South Carolina plates was headed north on Beaver when it apparently scraped along the side of the concrete jersey barriers still up from the embankment collapse three years ago. 
 
The Murano's driver apparently tried to correct and veered into the south lane and directly into the path of a southbound dark gray Ford Windstar. The driver of the Murano and the driver and occupant of the minivan were all taken by ambulance; two went Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield and a third to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington.
 
A nearby resident who heard the collission from his home was first on the scene and said he turned off one of the cars and helped the driver of the Murano out. 
 
Both vehicles sustained significant front-end damage and the airbags appear to have gone off in both. 
 
Sgt. James Burdick said charges are pending against the driver of the Murano. 
 
North Adams and state police, the Fire Department and North Adams Ambulance responded. Dean's Quality Auto and Cariddi Auto towed the vehicles from the scene. The road was reopened after about an hour. 
     

North Adams Man Accused of Stabbing Pizza Driver Arraigned

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A North Adams man accused of stabbing a 50-year-old Domino's delivery driver and trying to rob him of money was arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Berkshire Superior Court.
 
Travis T. Perras, 25, of Union Street had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf for single counts of armed assault with intent to murder, armed assault with intent to rob, and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon.
 
Judge Daniel Ford ordered that he continue to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $100,000 cash or surety bail.
 
It is alleged that Perras stabbed Charles Sauer on July 14 at about at about 11:30 p.m. near Perras' Union Street home. Officers arriving on the scene found Sauer in his vehicle with multiple stab wounds to his chest and abdomen. He was able to identify his assailant and was taken to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield. Perras was located in a residence not far from the crime scene and taken into custody a short time later. 
 
The investigation was conducted by members of North Adams Police Department, Massachusetts State Police - Troopers, Detectives and Crime Scene Division and Adams Police K9.
     

North Adams Police Make Arrests in 2 Stabbing Incidents

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city has seen two stabbings within one week and police have made arrests in both cases. 
 
The first occured on Monday, July 10, when a man was stabbed near the former Price Chopper parking lot on State Road at about 11:45 p.m.  Police reported that the victim appeared to have puncture wounds to his abdomen. He identified his attacker as Jamie Garcia, who had run into the woods toward Massachusetts Avenue. 
 
State Trooper Matt Baird and his K9, Caber, responded to a request for assistance in the search. Caber was able to quickly locate and apprehend Garcia, who was hiding in thick overgrowth just off the railroad tracks on Mass Ave.
 
He was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a knife, and was held on $8,500 bail. The victim was reported in good condition.
 
The second incident occurred on Friday, July 14, at approximately 11:30 p.m., when a pizza delivery person was stabbed multiple times, reportedly in an attempted robbery. 
 
The victim, Charles Sauer of North Adams, was located in his vehicle in the area of 394 Union St. with wounds to his chest and abdomen. Sauer was delivering pizza for Dominos at the time the incident occurred. He was able to identify his assailant as Travis Perras of North Adams while being assisted by first responding officers.
 
Sauer was transported to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, where his condition was initially listed as critical. However the last update received, his condition has improved to stable condition.
 
Perras was located in a residence not far from the crime scene and taken into custody a short time later. He is charged with armed assault with intent to murder, armed robbery while masked, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Perras is now being held at the Berkshire County House of Corrections on $75,000 cash bail.
 
The information on these cases was not released until July 16 until the the investigation was completed, said police, so as not to compromise evidence gathering.
     

Head-On Collision North Adams Leaves One in Critical Condition

Staff Reports

A GoFundMe has been set up for Kaileigh Lewis, the young mother who was a passenger in the Honda and who is in critical condition at BMC.
Update, 3:19 p.m., June 17: The driver of the Dodge Durango involved in Friday's head-on collision is expected to face "numerous motor vehicle charges," according to police. 
 
Robert Matte Jr., 43, of North Adams, has been identified as the owner and driver of the northbound Durango that apparently veered into the opposite lane and hit a Honda CRV with five people in it, including two very young children.
 
Kaileigh Lewis, 23, of North Adams, a passenger in the back seat of the Honda, was severely injured in the crash. Also injured was Diane Pearson, 49, the Honda's driver, who was visiting from Texas to see her new grandchild, 4-day-old Aleksei Davila, who was in the back seat. 
 
Also in the Honda was Marcos Davila Rodriguez, the car's owner, in the front passenger seat, and 2-year-old Inali Davis, also in the back. 
 
Both children were in secure car seats but Lewis, who was sitting between them, was not wearing a seat belt, according to Sgt. James Burdick. 
 
"Everybody was transported to various hospitals," he said on Saturday. "Some when to BMC North and some went to BMC Pittsfield and some went to Bay State Medical Center in Springfield. ... Ms. Pearson was pretty severely injured and Ms. Lewis was severely injured."
 
The 2-year-old was taken as a precaution to Bay State because of striations, or bruising, caused by the seat belts, he said. However, he added, "that's because they had the child properly seat belted and locked in a child safety seat, which is excellent."
 
Both the driver and the passenger in the Honda had seat belts on; Lewis and Matte did not.
 
"That's why we advocate all of the time for seat belts and car seats," Burdick said. 
 
He said the accident is still under investigation and that "Matte will be facing numerous motor vehicle charges."
 
"We are still waiting on accident reconstruction to finish with their investigation and we will put the charges together at that time and he will be charged accordingly," the sergeant said.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A head-on collision on south Church Street on Friday afternoon left several people injured, one in critical condition.

 
The collision between two sport utility vehicles occurred just about 2 p.m. by the Peter W. Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink. 
 
Police Lt. Jason Wood said a northbound Dodge Durango veered into the opposite lane and hit a Honda CRV that was heading south.
 
Wood said at this point, it is unknown why the Dodge crossed the center line.
 
"For whatever reason, it left the travel lane and we are trying to figure out why that occurred," he said.
 
There were five occupants — including a young child and an infant — in the Honda. Wood believed that all five were taken to Berkshire Medical Center in North Adams or Pittsfield by North Adams Ambulance Service. Wood said one occupant of the Honda has been listed in critical condition and that the driver of the Dodge did not appear to be injured. 
 
Wood said one of the school resource officers was at Drury High School and was able to get to the accident quickly. He said he had been in contact with state police that the accident was still under investigation.
 
Two other cars southbound were also involved when one stopped because of the accident and was rear-ended by the vehicle following. Neither car appeared to sustain notable damage. The front end of the Honda, however, incurred significant damage. 
 
South Church was closed from West Shaft Road south (it was still closed just before 5 p.m., police say to expect the road to be closed until 8 p.m.) and traffic was turned around or routed over West Shaft. 
 
Both North Adams Police and Fire responded to the accident. Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts campus police and Adams Police helped reroute traffic and Adams Ambulance also provided assistance.
     
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