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Great Barrington Crashes Leave Two Dead

Staff Reports

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Police are investigating two serious motor vehicle crashes on Wednesday afternoon that left two dead.

According to police, the first accident occurred at 12:50 p.m. Janet E. Chase, 62, of Sheffield died on the scene when her BMW sedan veered into the northbound lane of Route 7, just north of the Sheffield/Great Barrington line, and crashed head-on with a Honda minivan in the northbound lane. The van was driven by Maureen L Boisvert, 50, of Needham. Boisvert was taken to Berkshire Medical Center with severe injuries.

While state and local police were investigating that accident, a vehicle backing out of Timberlyn Heights nursing home on Maple Avenue (Route 23) was struck by a westbound vehicle. Phillip Hoffman, 90, of Sandisfield died at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield overnight as a result of the crash. His wife, Ann, 88, is at Berkshire Medical Center with "life-threatening injuries" as of Thursday.

The other driver, Brian K. Deland, Jr., 34, of Ashley Falls, was treated and released from Fairview Hospital.

That accident occurred at 3:10 p.m. and is being investigated by state and local police. 

Also last night a Jeep Cherokee collided with a tractor-trailer near the New York state border on Route 20 in Hancock.The driver of the Jeep was taken to Berkshire Medical Center while the driver of the truck was unhurt. Route 20 was shut down for more than an hour.
 

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Bones Found in Great Barrington May Be Human

Staff Reports

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Bones discovered on Monday evening across from the Kmart department store are being handed over to a forensic anthropologist.

Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless said a young boy playing along the bank of the Housatonic River discovered the bones sticking out of the sand and dug them out. The boy and his mother brought the bones to the Great Barrington Police Department, which notified the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the district attorney's office.  

The bones were transported Tuesday morning to the Holyoke office of the chief medical examiner. Associate Chief Medical Examiner Andrew Sexton made a preliminary determination that the bones may be human, and they will be forwarded to the main office in Boston for an examination by a forensic anthropologist. 

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Car Hits Two Houses in Great Barrington

Staff Reports

One of our readers in Great Barrington reports that a motorist slammed into two houses and trees on East Street on Sunday afternoon.

According to report, the driver, a young woman, lost control of her sport utility vehicle while southbound toward the intersection of Cottage and East streets. She ran into the south side of one house and into the yard, hitting two trees and then into the west side of another house.

Police and fire responded to a call at 3:30 p.m. for a car into a house at 68 East St. On arrival, Great Barrington Fire Chief Harry Jennings reported a SUV had hit two houses and damaged one tree.

No one was reportedly injured and the name of the driver was not immediately released. Police are investigating the accident.

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Train Sparks Brush Fire in Great Barrington

Staff Reports

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — One of our readers in Great Barrington reports that the Fire Department responded to a brush fire along the railroad tracks on Taconic Avenue on Monday afternoon.

The call came in around 3:30 p.m. that a train passing south along the Housatonic Railroad tracks sparked a fire in the dry vegetation that spread. The train reportedly continued to Canaan, Conn., where it was contacted. Luckily, it did not spark more blazes as it moved south. 

It took firefighters only about 10 minutes to bring the blaze under control and they returned to headquarters around 4:15. Egremont Fire Department was put on standby for Great Barrington.

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Driver Won't Be Charged in Pedestrian Death

Berkshire News Network

Great Barrington Police have decided not to file any charges against a Stockbridge woman who hit and killed a pedestrian crawling across Route 7 last month. 

Police Chief William Walsh told the Berkshire News Network that preliminary results of the autopsy on the victim, 59-year-old Raymond McQuoid of Lee, revealed that the driver, 33-year-old Julia Berkman of Stockbridge, was not at fault when she hit McQuoid. 

Police said they believed McQuoid had been drinking before the incident and was walking northbound in the southbound lane around 9 that night when he decided for some reason to crawl across busy Route 7. The incident occurred about 500 yards north of the WSBS studios near an auto dealership at the base of Monument Mountain. 

McQuoid, a native of Leicester, resided in Stamford, Vt., for several years and served on the Select Board. He had been a truck driver for LB Corp. He left a wife, the former Danna Nichols, her three children and four grandchildren.

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