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Tractor-Trailer Misses Hairpin Turn

Staff Reports
iBerkshires

CLARKSBURG, Mass. — A tractor-trailer truck nearly took a dangerous shortcut to the city on Wednesday afternoon after crashing over the guardrail at the Hairpin Turn.

The tractor-trailer truck, hauling an Expedited Transport trailer, failed to navigate the notoriously difficult turn as it was descending the steep Mohawk Trail at about 2 p.m.

It slid into and over the guardrail near the old overlook, its front tires dangling over the edge.

The driver was able to exit the cab and was uninjured, according to police.

Clarksburg Fire Department and North Adams Ambulance responded to the scene, and North Adams Police directed traffic around the scene. The very point of the Hairpin Turn, where the Golden Eagle Restaurant is located, is in Clarksburg.

Traffic was closed to one lane until Dean's Towing showed up to pull the tractor-trailer safely back onto the road.

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Driver Injured in Church Street Accident in North Adams

Staff Reports
iBerkshires
Update 8:16 p.m., Dec. 21: Owen Taylor, 31, of Adams, has been identified as the driver. He is also the owner of the vehicle. Police say charges are still pending in the incident.
 

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A 31-year-old Adams man was seriously injured early Sunday night after crashing his sport utility vehicle on Church Street.

The accident occurred before 8:30 p.m. near the intersection with Bradley.  The driver, whose name was not immediately released, had to be extricated from the vehicle and taken to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield.

"He appeared to have serious injuries," said Police Director Michael Cozzaglio, who added that the driver was not wearing a seat belt. "Speed and alcohol seem to be the two contributing factors to this accident."

His black Nissan Xterra was southbound on Church when he lost control, veered across the northbound lane, going up onto the lawn of a house just past Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

"He came up on the lawn, hit a tree, and still traveling at a high rate of speed ... he was sideways on the passenger side and came to rest on the stair on its side,"  said Cozzaglio.

The vehicle cut across a shared driveway, taking out a "Private Drive" sign, and up onto another steep lawn when it flipped onto its passenger side, slid into a concrete stairway and down into the road.

It came to rest across the northbound lane of road with debris surrounding it, including broken bottles; Church was closed between Davenport and Blackinton for more than an hour.

North Adams Fire and North Adams Ambulance also responded to the scene. Cariddi Auto towed the Nisson, a total loss, from the scene.

Cozzaglio said the accident is under investigation and charges are pending.

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Three-Car Collision on Hadley Overpass Sends One to Hospital

By Nicholas Swanson
iBerkshires Intern

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A three-car collision on the Hadley Overpass sent one person to the hospital and stopped traffic around 2:30 p.m.

Initially, the call was for a car on fire on the bridge, with both the Fire Department and police responding. Any blaze had been extinguished almost immediately.

The chain-reaction accident happened between two pickup trucks and a sport utility vehicle, all northbound, as they neared the intersection with Main Street.

Traffic was almost at a complete stop when a Dodge Ram 1500 reportedly collided with the back of a Toyota Four-Runner, pushing into the Toyota Tacoma pickup in front of it.

"I looked up in the rear view mirror and it was barreling toward me like a freight train," said the Four-Runner's driver.

The road was wet and it was raining. Police declined to comment on the cause of the accident at the scene.

The Four-Runner was severely damaged on both front and rear ends, which caused both airbags to be deployed. It was removed by Mohawk Auto. The Toyota Tacoma had some damage on the rear bed but the driver was transported to the hospital. The Dodge incurred front-end damage and was taken away by Dean's Quality Auto.

Traffic was halted for a short time until the vehicles could be removed.

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North Adams Home Damaged in Early Morning Fire

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — An early morning fire severely damaged the side of a multifamily home on East Quincy Street.

The blaze was called in shortly before 2 a.m. on Monday morning by neighbors who reported smoke and flames; the north side of the building was described as glowing.

Fire Director Stephen Meranti said the fire burned up through the basement stairs along the exterior wall, undermining the stair landings and forcing firefighters to attack the blaze from the outside.

"We had to make entrance through the basement, knock down the basement, put out the fire on the first floor then work our way up," he said.

The 1880 building has two units, up and down, and is currently unoccupied. Owner George Ames Jr., who was at the scene, confirmed it was vacant.

The fire is believed to have started in the basement but the cause was unclear early this morning.

Its path could be clearly seen from the damaged exterior. The heat melted off the vinyl  siding and burned through the wall and up to the roof line. Firefighters used an exterior staircase to access the burning wall.

Most of the fire damage appeared to be contained to the rear north corner of the building, including the upstairs apartment.

The steep, narrow street was crowded with emergency vehicles. North Adams responded with three trucks, including the ladder truck. Clarksburg Fire covered the station and sent  its air truck scene. North Adams Ambulance Service set up its rehab trailer.

Berkshire Gas and National Grid were expected to arrive to disconnect the structure.

Meranti said a fire watch would be set for the rest of the night.
 

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North Adams Police: Two Women Struck by Motor Vehicle

Police say the two women struck by car did not have life-threatening injuries.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Two women were struck by a vehicle while crossing Union Street in front of McDonald's at about 9 p.m. on Tuesday.

According to police, they were in the northbound crosswalk at the intersection of Eagle and Union streets when they were struck by a turning vehicle. Police, firefighters and the North Adams Ambulance Service responded after the dispatch received numerous calls reporting that a pedestrian was hit.

 Both women suffered non-life threatening injuries and were transported to Berkshire Medical Center for treatment.
 
The operator of the motor vehicle was arrested and charged with the following offenses operating with a suspended license, negligent operation for using a cellphone while driving and on a warrant.
 

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