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State Police Investigating Fatality In Train Incident

Staff Reports
iBerkshires
Update on Thursday, June 14, 3:08 p.m.: The name of the deceased is still being held pending confirmation by the medical examiner's office.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williamstown Police are reporting that an individual was struck and killed by a Boston & Maine train on Saturday morning near the Moody Bridge.

Police have not released the identification of the victim; the investigation has been turned over to the state police with the district attorney's office (Crime Prevention and Control) and the Boston & Maine Railroad Police Department.

According to police, they were alerted at about 9:12 a.m. by Boston & Maine that a person had been struck in the vicinity of the Route 7 bridge.

A report by police Sgt. Scott McGowan states "there doesn't appear to be any suspicious circumstances that would have led to this unfortunate incident. Additionally, law enforcement does not suspect any fault with the train or crew which was operating at the time of the accident."

No further information was immediately available.

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Rollover Halts Traffic On Route 7 In Williamstown

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

It appeared that the car was headed northbound when it hit the bank and rolled into the southbound lane.
Update, Jan. 27, 2012, 12:16 p.m.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A Bennington, Vt., man was arrested on multiple motor vehicle charges Thursday afternoon after he crashed near the Chef's Hat diner on Route 7 (Simonds Road).

Police said Jeffrey L. Dartt, 50, of Benmont Ave., was attempting to flee police near the Vermont border when he flipped his white Chrysler sedan.

Dartt was charged with single counts of operating under the influence of alcohol, third offense, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, operating without a license, marked lanes violation, following a vehicle too closely, and speeding.

According to police, a motorist called 911 to report a northbound motor vehicle operating erratically on New Ashford Road. Officers John McConnell and Preston Kelly found the Chrysler on Simonds Road and saw it tailgating and swerving in its lane.

They lit up the cruiser near the North Hoosac Road intersection to warn the driver to pull over but Dartt allegedly accelerated and failed to negotiate the corner near the Chef's Hat. The sedan struck the embankment, flipped over and came to rest on its roof. The Jaws of Life was needed to extricate Dartt.

He was arrested at the scene and taken to North Adams Regional Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. He was being held at the town lockup on $10,000 bail. His car was totaled and there were no other injuries. The road was closed for about on hour.

Editor: Yes, there were spelling errors in recording the list of charges. They have been fixed.

Original post: Jan. 26, 2012, 4:55 p.m.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A one-car rollover on Route 7 near the Vermont border halted traffic and sent at least one person to the hospital at about 4 p.m. on Thursday.

Police did not provide information at this time but said they will release information later Thursday night.

It appeared as though a white Chrysler was traveling northbound and went into the sloped bank across from the Chef's Hat restaurant and then rolled over into the southbound lane.

At least one person was seen being transported to the hospital as a result. It was unclear if there were any other cars involved or the extent of the any injuries.

Traffic on Route 7 in both directs and the northbound land of Sand Springs Road was at a standstill while emergency workers attended to the crash.

iBerkshires will update this story after the police release a statement.
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Fire Forces Family From Williamstown Home

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A smoky fire forced a local family to flee their 40 Oblong Road home on Monday.

The fire was reported at about 4 p.m. by homeowner Heather Williams. Fire Chief Craig Pedercini said it took about half hour to 45 minutes to contain the blaze, which started near a woodstove in the living room.

"We had to take some ceiling down on the second floor because the fire got up through the walls and into the ceiling and spread across," said Pedercini, who added that firefighters did what they could to minimize the damage. "We covered up as much as we could [with tarps] ... when you've got a little bit of time on your side you can do that and save as much property as you can."


Firefighters inspect the woodstove, suspected in causing the smoky fire at 40 Oblong Road on Monday.
Pedercini said the house also suffered water damage and holes had to be chopped into the roof to get at hotspots; the wall above the woodstove was "busted through."  While he left any damage estimates up to the homeowners' insurance company, he thought the house was repairable.

Williams, a member of the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee, said she saw smoke was coming out of the light fixtures and the smoke alarms went off. She called 911 then left the two-story home with her two children and the family dog. Her husband, Pat Dunlavey, was not home at the time.

Pedercini said the fire is under investigation and that he couldn't rule out electrical causes, but the woodstove likely "was involved."

There were no injuries. The tanker was parked at Oblong and Torrey Woods Road — "We got a good water supply fairly quickly," said Pedercini. Clarksburg Fire Department sent an airtruck and covered the station; Pownal, Vt., firefighters were on scene with a truck. Village Ambulance also responded.

Williams said the family would stay with friends and that preparations were being made to tarp the house.
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Two Arrested In Drug Raid On Williams College Campus

Staff Reports
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Police arrested two individuals on drug charges after raiding a Williams College residence on Wednesday.

Angel Oritz, 19, of Bronx, N.Y., and Cristine Ihara, 21, of Gardena, Calif., were charged with possession of Class D substance (marijuana) with intent to distribute, possession of a Class B substance (Dilaudid) with the intent to distribute and drug violation in a school zone, according to police. They were released on personal recognizance pending arraignment in Northern Berkshire District Court on Wednesday.

Police said they raided Dodd House, where the two lived, on Wednesday night. Officers recovered multiple small bags containing marijuana, a bag of Dilaudid tablets and two bags filled with a "unknown powdery substances." One of those substances being blue and the other being white.

Police also say they recovered numerous pill bottles containing different prescription pills, paraphernalia items used for packaging, a scale and paraphernalia for personal use of illegal drugs.

Dodd House, on Mission Park Drive on the Williams campus, is located less than 1,000 feet from Williamstown Elementary School.
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Police Warn Phone Scam Targeting Elderly

Williamstown Police Department
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown Police Department is warning residents of a phone scam.

A fictitious organization representing itself as the "National Medical Office" is attempting to fraudulently obtain bank information from senior citizens.

The caller tells the senior the office will provide a supplemental card that, among other things, can be used to assist in lowering the cost of prescription medication. The card is being advertised over the phone as free of charge; however, the recipient is asked to provide bank account information to verify his or her identity before receiving the card.

The scam has been widely reported throughout the United States. Additionally, the Police Department is reminding residents to be vigilant when receiving unknown solicitations over the phone, the Internet or by mail. Police strongly recommend that no personal information be provided to anyone with whom you are not familiar.

If you or a family members believes you have been the victim of this scam, or have any additional questions, contact Williamstown Police at 413-458-5733 or your local police department.

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