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High-Speed Chase Ends in Crash

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A high-speed chase on Saturday night ended with a single-car crash on Route 2 that sent three of the vehicle's occupants to the hospital.

According to police, Michael Gancarz, 18, of Lime Street, Adams, was traveling north on Howland Avenue at speeds in excess of 100 mph in a 2006 Subaru Impreza at about 9:30.

The vehicle was totaled; booms can be seen near where the car landed to contain any oil leakage.

Adams Police pursued and contacted North Adams Police. Within minutes, the Subaru had smashed through the guardrails and a stop sign at the intersection of Curran Memorial Highway and South State Street, near The Range miniature golf course.

The car went airborne and landed in a ditch near the near a body of  water.

Passengers Justin Meczywor, 17, of Clarksburg and two girls whose names were not released because of their ages were taken to North Adams Regional Hospital.

Gancarz was charged by Adams Police with operating a vehicle with intent to endanger, failing to stop for police, a marked-lanes violation and speeding.

 

 

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Fatal Accident Closes Route 8 in Adams

Andy McKeever

A stretcher sits empty at the scene of a fatal accident in Adams on Friday.

ADAMS, Mass. — An accident on Route 8 Friday afternoon left a Florida woman dead.

Jill Keating, 46, of the town of Florida was killed after her Chevrolet Avalanche crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer that was preparing to take a left into Speciality Minerals at about 12:25 p.m. Friday afternoon, according to police.

Keating was pronounced dead on the scene and the driver of the tractor-trailer, Eduardo Manuel Nunes of Miami, Fla., was uninjured.

Route 8 was closed for about four hours and traffic was rerouted from Friend Street through the industrial park.

Emergency personnel on the scene were the Police Department, the Ambulance, the Fire Department, North Adams Ambulance and the Cheshire Fire Department. North Adams and State Police were requested for traffic assistance. The State Police Accident Reconstruction Team and the Truck Team were requested to investigate the accident.

A full investigation is still ongoing.

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Police On Lookout For Kidnap, Homicide Suspect

Andy McKeever

 

Cynthia Colegrove (on the right) and family friend Michelle Johnson (on the left) are anxious to be reunited with Loretta Colegrove, who was reportedly kidnapped and taken on a multi-state manhunt.

 

Update: July 14, 2011 at 12:21 a.m.:

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — It was a long day for Washington Avenue resident Cynthia Colegrove, a day that she spent crying, praying and waiting for updates on her sister and her 4-month-old nephew who were reportedly kidnapped and involved in a multi-state manhunt.

After 9 p.m., Colegrove received a relieving phone call informing her that her sister and nephew were safe.

Police were on a manhunt all day Wednesday looking for 25-year-old Loretta Colegrove and her 4-month-old son, who were reportedly kidnapped by Matthew Slocum following a fatal fire in Eagle Bridge, N.Y. that left three dead.

"I spent most of the day crying and freaking out," Cynthia Colegrove said Wednesday night. "I really love my sister."

Colegrove said her sister walked out of the woods barefoot holding the baby, and shortly thereafter Slocum surrendered to police outside a home in Gilsum, N.H.

Now Colegrove just has to wait to see her sister and bring the family together again. When Loretta Colegrove does return, family friend Michelle Johnson wants her to know that they will all be glad to see her.

"I hope she knows we will be there as family and friends," Johnson said. "We will all be there for her."

While they could not have predicted the events that unfolded, Cynthia Colegrove said the family had reservations about Slocum before. She said that as recently as a month ago, Loretta Colegrove reached out to the family for support.

"I was very, very worried about her. He's very violent...We didn't like how he was treating my sister," Cynthia Colegrove said. "She told us things about him. She wanted help...I was very, very concerned about my sister and how dangerous he could be."

Another family member did not want to speak to the media earlier in the day for fear of her own and Loretta Colegrove's safety while the manhunt was still in progress.


Updated: July 13, 2011 at 8:25 p.m.: Adams Police Chief Donald Poirot said that the suspect spent "only 10 minutes" in the town this morning.

The Amber Alert was initially reported out of Adams because that was where Slocum was last seen at 5 a.m. After investigation, police said the suspect had only stopped in to ask an acquaintance for money and quickly left.

"We are not anticipating any return visits," Poirot told the Board of Selectmen Wednesday night. "The suspect that was allegedly involved in that had touched base in Adams... They were here for about 10 minutes, looking for money. They didn't get it and they left."

According to multiple reports, the vehicle has reportedly been found in Wednesday evening Gilsum, N.H. but there is no sign of the occupants.

Family members of Loretta Colegrove living in North Adams did not wish to speak to the media Wednesday afternoon but said they are very worried for Colegrove's safety.




Matthew Slocum, 23, is seen in this image released by New York State Police.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — An Amber Alert has been issued for a 4-month-old boy taken by a New York man wanted in connection with a triple homicide.

Matthew Slocum, 23, is sought in connection with a blaze that killed three people in the town of White Creek, N.Y., early Wednesday morning. Killed were Slocum's mother, Lisa Harrington, her husband, Dan Harrington, and her stepson, according to media reports.

Slocum is believed to be traveling in a 2003 black Ford Mustang with his girlfriend Loretta Colegrove, who has family living in the county, and their 4-month-old baby. According to Massachusetts State Police, the child, Raymond Slocum, was abducted and is in "extreme danger."

Slocum was seen on North Street in Adams at about 5 a.m. Wednesday. Police said he may be armed and holding the woman and the baby against their will. Anyone with information is asked to Call 911 AND NOT APPROACH THE VEHICLE.

The Amber Alert is below

      The Washington County Sheriffs Department has activated the New York State AMBER Alert and is investigating a confirmed child abduction that occurred on Turnpike Road, in White Creek, NY at about 4:00 AM on 7/13/2011.

       The CHILD, Raymond Slocum is a White male, approximately 4 months old. He is approximately 23 inches long and weighs about 20 pounds.

       The SUSPECT, Matthew Slocum is a White male, approximately 23 years old with short, brown hair and brown eyes. He is approximately 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs about 195 pounds.

       The VEHICLE has been identified as a Black 2-door sedan Ford Mustang with NY license plate number DED1769.

       Suspect fled scene of a suspicious death taking the child with him. Suspect is armed with firearms and has the child and child's mother Loretta Colegrove held against their will. The suspect may be travelling between the states of NY, MA, NH, and CT.

      Anyone with any information on this abduction is asked to call the Washington County Sheriffs Department at (866)NYS-AMBER or dial 911 to provide information on a report or sighting.

Updated: July 13, 2011 at 8:25 p.m.: Adams Police Chief Donald Poirot said that the suspect spent "only 10 minutes" in the town this morning.

The Amber Alert was initially reported out of Adams because that was where Slocum was last seen at 5 a.m. After investigation, police said the suspect had only stopped in to ask an acquaintance for money and quickly left.

"We are not anticipating any return visits," Poirot told the Board of Selectmen Wednesday night. "The suspect that was allegedly involved in that had touched base in Adams... They were here for about 10 minutes, looking for money. They didn't get it and they left."

According to multiple reports, the vehicle has reportedly been found in Wednesday evening Gilsum, N.H. but there is no sign of the occupants.

Family members of Loretta Colegrove living in North Adams did not wish to speak to the media Wednesday afternoon but said they are very worried for Colegrove's safety.

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Former Adams Officer Sentenced On Child Porn Charges

Andy McKeever

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A former Adams police sergeant was sentenced Wednesday to two years in jail on child pornography charges.

Alan Vigiard was sentenced in Berkshire Superior Court on 10 counts of knowingly possessing visual material of a child depicted in sexual conduct. Judge Daniel Ford sentenced Vigiard to two years at the Berkshire County House of Corrections on nine of those charges.

On the remaining count he was placed on five years probation with the condition that he turn in all computers and/or media storage devices, not possess any pornography, undergo counseling, register as a sex offender and obey all probate court orders.

Vigiard was investigated after a folder with pornographic images was found on a CD sent to the district attorneys. Vigiard was caught viewing pornography on a police computer at the station on Oct. 29, 2009.

He was placed on administrative leave and then resigned. As of last year, he was receiving retirement benefits accrued during his service but will lose those if the retirement board determines his crimes were linked to his employment.

He pled guilty to the charges last month. A single count of lasciviously posing a child in a state of nudity was dismissed at the request of the commonwealth.

The investigation was conducted by state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office and members of the Adams Police Department.

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Former Police Officer Guilty on Child Porn Charges

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A former Adams police sergeant pleaded guilty Friday morning in Berkshire Superior Court to 10 counts of child pornography.

Alan C. Vigiard, 46, appeared before Judge Daniel Ford and pleaded guilty to 10 counts of knowlingly possessing visual material of a child depicted in sexual conduct. A single count of lasciviously posing a child in a state of nudity was dismissed at the request of the commonwealth.

Vigiard was released on personal recognizance pending sentencing, which will take place on June 22 at 3 p.m.

The veteran officer was being investigated after a folder with pornographic images was found on a CD sent to the district attorneys. Vigiard was caught viewing pornography on a police computer at the station on Oct. 29, 2009.

He was placed on administrative leave and then resigned. As of last year, he was receiving retirement benefits accrued during his service but will lose those if the retirement board determines his crimes were linked to his employment.

The investigation was conducted by state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office and members of the Adams Police Department. 

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