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Adams Couple Injured in Five-Car Accident

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A five-car accident on Curran Highway on Sunday afternoon sent three people to the hospital, two with serious injuries.
 
Police Sgt. James Burdick said driver Anthony McBride, 83, and his wife, Ruth McBride, 84, of Adams,  were traveling north on Curran Highway around 1:40 p.m. in a 2004 Pontiac Vibe. McBride, former Adams town moderator and longtime businessman, made a left turn to go onto Old State Street to the secondary entrance of Walmart but failed to stop.
 
Burdick said McBride pulled into the path of Adam Bethoney, 28, of Stamford, Vt., who was heading south in a 2010 GMC pickup truck. Burdick said Bethoney tried to avoid the Vibe but the two vehicles collided, sent the McBride vehicle into the Mohawk Auto Center parking lot, then back into the southbound lanes, and over the median, where he collided with 67-year-old Richard Wade of North Adams who was northbound in a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu.
 
"Mr. Bethoney attempted to avoid the accident but was unable to do so, and the two motor vehicles collided which spun the McBride vehicle and it collided with one of the vehicles in the Mohawk parking lot," Burdick said. "It crossed the southbound lane, jumped the median and hit the Wade vehicle."
 
Burdick said he was behind Wade in his cruiser when the accident occurred. 
 
Two cars at the Mohawk Auto Center were damaged, he said. Even though they were parked, they are still part of the accident.
 
"It is a five-car accident, not two because two of the cars were parked at the Mohawk Auto Center for sale," he said. "They are still damaged and are still accident cars and the McBride vehicle did cross the median strip and did hit the Wade vehicle in the rear. Slight as it may have been, it was touched and is part of the accident."
 
Burdick said there are charges pending against McBride. 
 
Burdick said the McBrides' condition is unknown. Anthony McBride is currently at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield and Ruth McBride is at Baystate in Springfield. Bethoney was transported to BMC's North Adams campus, where he was treated and released.
 
Burdick said the McBride vehicle is a total loss, the Bethoney vehicle sustained heavy front-end damage but can be repaired, the Wade vehicle received no notable damage, one of the parked cars received some front-end damage and the other parked car received some paint damage from flying debris.
 
"The truck didn’t hit it," Burdick said. "It was all of the flying debris, dirt, rocks and pieces of the two cars."
 
North Adams Ambulance, Adams Ambulance, the North Adams Fire department and Adams police department were also on scene.
     

Adams Man Dies While Tubing On Deerfield River

Staff Reports
Update: 10:27 p.m.: The Northwestern district attorney's office has released the name of the Adams man who drowned in the Deerfield River on Wednesday as Thomas N. Hereford, 51.

According to reports on MassLive, Hereford fell behind the group he was with when his tube began losing air. Members of the group were unable to locate him and his body was recovered by the Northfield Dive Team on Wednesday night.

Hereford's Facebook page says he was employed by Northern Berkshire Stone Masonry and was a graduate of Hoosac Valley High School.

CHARLEMONT, Mass. — A 51-year-old Adams died while tubing on the Deerfield River, according to the Northwestern District Attorney's Office.
 
Authorities say the body of the man was recovered in the river Wednesday evening and the body is being sent to the chief medical examiner to determine the cause of death. 
 
The man's name has not been released until next of kin is notified. The district attorney's office says the man was reportedly "tubing with several co-workers near the intersection of the Deerfield and Cold Rivers."
 
The body was recovered by members of the Northfield Dive Team and Massachusetts State Police are investigating the incident but say no foul play is suspected.
     

Driver Killed in Howland Avenue Collision

Staff Reports

Update at 5:37 p.m.: Ethan Piaggi-Cornell of Pittsfield, 23, was killed in Thursday morning's accident in Adams.

Piaggi-Cornell was driving a 2001 Hyundai Sonata north when he collided with a stopped flatbed tow truck on Howland Avenue in Adams at around 11:15 a.m.

Initial reports were that he was taken elsewhere by Life Flight but district attorney's office states he was pronounced dead at Berkshire Medical Center.

The body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Holyoke, where an autopsy will be conducted.

Piaggi-Cornell was a 2012 graduate of Hoosac Valley High School. He was most recently employed as a line cook by Arizona Pizza in Pittsfield, according to his Facebook page.

The investigation is being conducted by members of the Adams Police Department, the Berkshire Detective Unit of the State Police assigned to the district attorney's office, the Massachusetts State Police Collision Analysis Reconstruction and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement sections.
 



ADAMS, Mass. — A motorist sustained serious injuries after his car collided with a flatbed wrecker on Howland Avenue late Thursday morning.

The northbound Sayers wrecker, with a car on the flatbed, was in the left lane to turn into Gene's Sales and Service when the small Sonata sedan collided with its rear bumper.

"It appears that the wrecker was stopped to make a lefthand turn when it was struck from the rear by the white Sonata, which was operated by a single person," said Police Richard Tarsa shortly before 1 p.m.. "Upon impact, the operator sustained severe injuries including massive head trauma."

Tarsa said the driver was taken to Berkshire Medical Center's North Adams campus and Life-Flighted from there. He was not sure at that point where the individual was taken. The driver of the wrecker was not injured.

The car suffered severe damage to its front driver's side, where it collided with the flatbed. The area was taped off and traffic was detoured over East Road between Lime Street and Hodges Cross Road for more than two hours.

The investigation is in the early stages, Tarsa said. "There are witnesses and we are gathering that information."

The state police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section and members of the Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force were assisting Adams Police.

     

Sprinkler System Saves Louison House

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff

ADAMS, Mass — Twelve Louison House residents were displaced after a small attic fire that was largely extinguished by the house’s sprinkler system.

Assistant Fire Chief John Pansecchi said the electrical fire broke out in the attic around 11:45 Sunday morning but was quickly snuffed out by the family support center’s sprinkler system.

“There were no injuries and minimal fire damage, and I can’t stress enough how much the sprinkler system probably saved that building,” Pansecchi said. "The sprinklers put the fire out in the area so basically we just investigated and tried to determine the cause.”

He said the water damage was caused by the sprinkler system and two families and four individuals were put up at a nearby hotel. The Louison House and the Red Cross provided this support.

It is unknown at this point when residents can move back into the house; the building inspector must make a ruling first.

Pansecchi said the Adams Police and Ambulance were present and Cheshire Fire covered the Adams Station.

Pansecchi said the knockdown was a great success and went smoothly.

“It was a success,” he said. “It was an hour and a half for us there compared to the four hours we spent on Park Street.”

     

Structure Fire Closes Park Street in Adams; Four Families Homeless

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff

Complete write-thru at 6 p.m.

ADAMS, Mass. — Firefighters from around Northern Berkshire County spent Friday afternoon battling a stubborn structure fire at 72 Park St.

Flames could be seen shooting out from under the roof of the building, which houses Carolyn's Tax Service on the first floor and four apartments on the top two floors, where several young children lived.

It took several dozen firefighters more than an hour to contain the blaze that started in a kitchen on the third floor. Fire Chief Paul Goyette described the smokey blaze as "95 percent contained" about 4 p.m., nearly three hours after it was first reported.

No one was injured in the fire but an Adams firefighter was overcome by heat and taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Park Street was closed to traffic and motorists were detoured at Hoosac and Center streets. Some mutual aid units began leaving about 5:30.

Goyette said the call came in as an alarm activation at about 1:15 p.m. and, when firefighters arrived, they found a fire on a stove on the third floor.

"That fire was extinguished but it appeared to enter the attic through the ductwork," he said.

The building was occupied at the time but Goyette did not know how many people were in the building. Everyone was evacuated from the four apartments, and the building searched. A second search was also done to verify no one was inside. Two cats were removed and treated at the scene with oxygen and a third was found safe after the fire was out.

Heavy smoke roiled from the roof line, occasionally blanketing the town's main street in a smokey haze. Bystanders watched the action from the sidewalks as the street filled with personnel and equipment from seven different departments: Adams, North Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Dalton, Lanesborough and Williamstown. Yellow tape was strung along light posts and signs to keep people out of the way.

The Williamstown and Adams ladder trucks mounted a two-pronged water attack on the roof line and the attic of the three-story building, as flames licked out from the eaves.

North Adams and Adams ambulance services set up a rehab center on the lawn of the Adams Free Library to hydrate and cool firefighters rotated out from the action. State police and sheriff's deputies blocked the street from traffic.

"It took us a good hour to knock the fire down because we had to keep chasing," said Goyette. Above the attic, "we found three layers of attic plus we had to start opening up the roof. It was labor intensive. That was the reasoning for calling in a lot of mutual aid companies to get fresh people here to the staging area."

The temperature hovered around 80 degrees with an infrequent breeze. One firefighter at the base of the ladder truck was overcome by the heat and carefully removed by a swarm of firefighters and emergency medical technicians.

Carolyn and Thomas Chalifoux of Carolyn's Tax Service were on their way to their lake cabin in Vermont went they got the call in Bennington that the building was on fire.

"We turned around and came back," said Thomas Chalifoux, watching from the sidewalk. They were concerned about the computers and files in their offices, but Goyette said firefighters were able to cover everything with tarps.

"Things look good there, it doesn't look like they've lost anything," he said.

Other buildings nearby were emptied as well. Arlene Schneider of the Cutting Edge Salon in the building next door said she didn't know anything was going on until firefighters came in and told she had to evacuate.

Trevor Crombie, who bought the building also known as the Dawson Block in 2004, was at the scene.

A GoFundMe has been set up for one of the families displaced in the blaze. Holly Dix and Mike Burns and their three children were not home at the time but their cat was rescued. Another fundraising page has been set up for Marcus and Heather Moore and their two children.

Firefighters were tossing items out the attic, cutting open the roof and chasing hotspots by 4 p.m. The state fire marshal was being called in to the investigation and the building's occupants were not expected to be able to return. Goyette couldn't say what the damage was at this point. Or when the street would reopen.

"The Fire Department owns Park Street at this point."

 

 

     
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