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Vermont Driver Slams Into Parked Conversion Van

Staff Reports
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The Grand Cherokee, right, just missed another parked car.
FLORIDA, Mass. — An errant driver set off a chain reaction when a late model Grand Cherokee knocked a camper van into garage. The report initially came in as a car into a building at 60 Mohawk Trail.
 
The accident occurred shortly before 6 p.m. on Tuesday when the westbound Jeep crossed into the eastbound lane and across a lawn to slam into the passenger side of the converted Chevrolet camper van. The collision knocked the back end of the parked van into the outside corner of the garage. It just missed another vehicle parked in the driveway.
 
The driver of the Jeep did not appear to have significantly slowed or applied the brakes because there were no skid marks or damage to the lawn. He was the only occupant in the Jeep, which is registered in Vermont.
 
No one was injured in the accident but the driver was taken to the hospital by North Adams Ambulance as a precaution. The Cherokee's airbags went off and it incurred significant front-end damage. It was not clear how damaged the van or the garage were. 
 
The incident is under investigation by state police who said there was nothing "suspicious" about the collision. Also responding was the Florida Fire Department and North Adams Police. 
     

Thieves Steal Scenic Viewers From Eastern Summit

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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
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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

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Driver in Dead Man's Curve Crash Facing Charges

Staff Reports
iBerkshires
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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.

 

     
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