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Lenox Ambulance in Head-on Crash

Staff Reports

LENOX, Mass. — The town's ambulance is out of commission after it was involved in a head-on crash Thursday morning while transporting a patient to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield.

Police Chief Stephen E. O'Brien said Lenox Ambulance was dispatched at 5:11 a.m. on Thursday to Curtis Housing on Main Street for a woman with abdominal pain. By 5:25, the firefighter emergency medical technicians Jason Saunders and Daniel Pirettihad had her on the way to Pittsfield. 

Saunders, who was driving the ambulance, reported six minutes later that it had been involved in a head-on motor vehicle crash on Main Street near the entrance to the Church on the Hill. 

Police said Matthew Bak, 20, of Cheshire, was operating a 1997 Chevy pickup GMT 400 southbound on Main Street when he fell asleep at the wheel, crossed the center line, and collided with the 2008 Ford E450 Type III ambulance.

Saunders requested aid from the Fire Department, two other ambulances and Lenox Police. 

The EMTs on the ambulance began caring for the other patients involved and, once more firefighters arrived, a third ambulance was requested for the personnel involved in the crash.

Saunders, 36, and Piretti, 27, who was caring for the patient in the back of the ambulance, were both treated at BMC for minor injuries and released after being transported by County Ambulance. The 83-year-old patient was taken to BMC with neck and back pain via another County Ambulance.

Bak complained of neck and back pain and was transported to BMC by Lee Ambulance.   

The crash remains under investigation and both criminal and civil charges are pending. There was extensive damage to both involved vehicles, which were towed away.

Although the town will be without an ambulance, Fire Chief Daniel W. Clifford said the Lenox Fire Department will continue to provide emergency medical services and will rely on mutual aid ambulance services for transport until a more permanent solution for a replacement ambulance becomes available.

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Williamstown Home Burns After Car Crash

Andy McKeever

 

Update: May 17, 2011 at 3:27 p.m.: Police reported Tuesday that Tatro will be charged with operating under the influence of alcohol, his second offense, operating to endanger, marked lanes violation and wanton injury to personal property or to a dwelling house in connection with the crash.

 

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A car crashed into a Route 7 house late Sunday night and triggered a massive fire, leaving two people homeless.

According to Fire Chief Craig Pedercini, police and fire personnel responded to a call of a car crashing into the house at 780 New Ashford Road at about 10 p.m. Sunday night, and immediately found the vehicle on fire with the driver still inside. The driver was removed in the "nick of time" before the blaze spread to the rest of the structure.

"When the first officer arrived on the scene he found the front end of the car on fire with the driver still in the vehicle," Pedercini said early Monday morning. "We almost had an instant fire here."

According to police, Timothy M. Tatro, 29, of Pittsfield was driving the 2002 Dodge Caravan  southbound on New Ashford Road when he failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway. He left the east side of the road, traveled approximately 178 feet and struck the residence.

Tatro was taken to Berkshire Medical Center and may have suffered burns on his legs, Pedercini said. There were two people inside the house when the crash occured; they both escaped unharmed. No firefighters were injured while extinguishing the blaze.

"They were up and I believe just watching television," Pedercini said. "There was fuel from the car that accelerated the fire."

Mutual aid from New Ashford, Hancock, Clarksburg and Pownal, Vt. fire departments were called in. The fire was controlled shortly after midnight; firefighters remained on the scene for a few more hours to extinguish smoldering debris.

"Most of us left at about 4 or 5 and we had some people here to keep watch," Pedercini said. "There was a lot of fire."

The house is outside of the fire district and tankers had to shuttle water to the scene. The house is a total loss.

The people inside the 1,500 square-foot home were renters. The property is listed as owned by John and Sharon Fleury.

Police Chief Kyle Johnson said the accident was still under investigation.

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Fire Destroys Pittsfield Apartment Complex

Andy McKeever

 

 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A massive fire in an apartment complex on Saturday afternoon left more than 40 people homeless.

The five-alarm  blaze was brought under control by Pittsfield firefighters after nearly seven hours and with the aid of at least six county fire companies.

No one was injured but the historic three-story Elmwood Court was heavily damaged.

Chief Robert Czerwinski said crews did an initial sweep of the building to ensure no one was inside. All the tenants had gotten out safely; two are out of town.

"We were having a tough time fighting it," said Czerwinski at around 8 p.m. "We're keeping a crew here over night to make sure it doesn't start back up."

The chief said the fire started in the basement and moved through the attic, helped along by the 160-year-old building's balloon construction.

The department received a call of smoke in the basement at about 12:30 Saturday afternoon. As the large fire moved through the 28 apartments, Pittsfield called surrounding towns for mutual aid.

Adams, Cheshire, Lanesborough, Lenox, Hinsdale and Richmond responded. The state's Fire Services Division also responded to provide support and coordination.

Czerwinski said the investigation "will start in earnest in the morning."

The local Red Cross chapter was helping any of the 45 or so tenants in need of aid.

The original mansion was built by Edward Learned, an industrialist and financier, in 1854 and was later known as one of the Berkshire cottages. It housed Miss Hall's School for the first decade of the last century and then was an inn, before being turned into apartments.

The property is owned by Cavalier S.E. Properties LLC, based in Egremont, which purchased it in 2004 from MP Bartlett Realty Trust for $1.1 million.

Updated and rewritten throughout at 9:12 p.m., May 14, 2011.

BARTLETT AVE FIRE - PITTSFIELD, MA from FIREGROUND360° on Vimeo.

 

 

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Superior Court Briefs: May 11 - 12

Andy McKeever

Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Wednesday, May 11.

Jean Marie Jones, 41, of Stockbridge pleaded guilty to single counts of distribution of cocaine and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Jones was placed on two years probation on the condition she remains drug and alcohol free and undergo testing during the period. The incidents occurred on March 6, 2010.

Jessica Page, 32, of North Adams had a not guilty plea entered on her behalf on one count of possession of oxycodone.

Page was released on personal recognizance and the charges originate from the execution of a search warrant at her home on November 6, 2009.

Jena L. Smith, 29, of Pittsfield was found guilty on single counts of distribution of cocaine, drug violation in a school zone and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Smith will be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail and will be sentenced on Thursday. A jury found that Smith sold and conspired to sell cocaine in Pittsfield on October, 13 2009.

Carolyn Willor, 37, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on two counts of possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute and one count of conspiracy to violate drug laws.

The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at her home on November 6, 2009. She was released on personal recognizance.

Francis Willor Sr., 28, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute and one count of conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Willor was released on personal recognizance. The charges are in connection with the execution of a search warrant at his home on November 6, 2009.

Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Thursday, May 12.

Tia Dewey, 30, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on her behalf on one count of conspiracy to violate drug laws, to wit: possession of heroin with intent to distribute.

Dewey was released on $500 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at the Holiday Inn in North Adams on March 2.

Clifton Stovall
, 29, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf for one count of trafficking in cocaine in connection with the execution of a search warrant at his home on Jan. 31.

Stovall was released on $2,500 cash or $25,000 surety bail.

Jie Whiteside, 41, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on one count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in connection with an execution of a search warrant at his home on Jan. 31.

Whiteside was released on personal recognizance.

Jena Smith, 29, of Pittsfield was found guilty on single counts of distribution of cocaine, drug violation in a school zone and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Smith was sentenced to one year at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the distribution of cocaine charge and an additional two years on the school zone charge. The conspiracy charge resulted in two years probation.

A jury found that Smith sold and conspired with others to sell cocaine in Pittsfield on October 13, 2009.

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Superior Court Briefs: May 2 - May 6

Andy McKeever

Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Monday, May 2.

Eric Hall, 24, of North Adams was found guilty for single counts of armed assault with intent to kill and intimidation of a witness and two counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon.

Hall was found not guilty on one count of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. He was sentenced to five to seven years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. Hall was found guilty of an assault of a 35-year-old man on December 5, 2009 and intimidated a witness on December 6, 2009.

Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday, May 3.


Jeffrey Baribeault, 42, of North Adams pleaded guilty to single counts of assault and battery and intimidation of a witness.

Single counts of rape and assault with intent to commit rape were dismissed by the state.

He was released on personal recognizance pending sentencing. The incident involved a 39-year-old woman in Adams on July 20, 2009.

Ernest A. Duck, 31, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

Duck was sentenced to two and a half to three years in state prison. A single count of possession of phencyclidine with intent to distribute - his second offense - was dismissed by the state. The charges followed the execution of a search warrant at the Wagon Wheel Motel in Lenox on October 9, 2009.

Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Wednesday, May 4.

Trevor Clark, 30, of North Adams pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, distribution of a butalbital, distribution of oxycodone, drug violation within a drug-free park zone and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Clark was sentences to serve concurrent one day sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the heroin and conspiracy charges, six month sentences after that on the butalbital and oxycodone charges and two and a half to three years in state prison - to be served after the house of correction sentences - on the park zone charge.

The charges stem from incidents in North Adams between May 8, 2009 and August 18, 2009. A single count of drug violation within a school zone was dismissed by the state.

Nicholas Bondini
, 27, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on five counts of possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute, seven counts of distribution of oxycodone, two counts of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, nine counts of drug violation within a school zone and one count of conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Bondini was released on $750 bail. The incidents alleged to have occurred in Adams and North Adams between November 5, 2010 and November 25, 2010.

Jacob Frusciente
, 19, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of aggravated assault and battery and assault and battery.

Frusciente was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $500 bail. It is alleged that Frusciente attached another inmate at the house of correction on February 18.

Fred Greer, 37, of Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of rape.

Greer will be held at the house of corrections on $50,000 bail. The alleged incident occurred on April 2 and the alleged victim is a 55-year-old woman.

Michael Purry, 36, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws and possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense.

Purry was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $100,000 cash or $1 million surety bond.

The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at the Holiday Inn in North Adams on March 2.

The investigation was conducted by members of the North Adams, Adams, Pittsfield and Lee Police Departments and state troopers assigned to the District Attorney’s Office, members of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force.

Francis Willor Jr., 38, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute and a single count of conspiracy to violation drugs laws.

Willor also pleaded not guilty to three counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and two counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon. The separate alleged incidents occurred on November 6, 2009 and the latter on March 7.

Willor was ordered to the house of correction on $5,000 cash or $50,000 surety bail.

Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Thursday, May 5.

Charles Best, 27, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to three counts of trafficking in cocaine, two counts of distribution of cocaine - his second offense - two counts of drug violation in a school zone and two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Single counts of trafficking in cocaine and three counts of distribution of cocaine were dismissed by the state. The incidents occurred between November 2, 2009 and January 28, 2010.

Cases heard before Judge Peter Velis on Friday, May 6.


Patrick O. Flynn, 29, of North Adams pleaded guilty to one count of perjury.

One count of armed assault and intent to murder and three counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon were dismissed by the state.

Flynn lied to police about an assault of a 35-year-old man in North Adams on December 5, 2009.

Mahadi Shadi Thompson, 29, of North Adams pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of cocaine.

Thompson was ordered to serve 49 days at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The charge stems from a sale of cocaine in Pittsfield on October 1, 2008.

Brandon Young, 27, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony, larceny from a building, threat to commit a crime - murder - and two counts of assault and battery.

Young was sentenced to serve two and a half years at the house of correction on the breaking and entering charge and a one and a half year sentence on the assault and battery charge, which will be served following the first sentence. Young will also serve a concurrent sentence on the threat to commit a crime charge and placed on two years probation n the assault and battery charges. The larceny charge was placed on file.

The charges stem from a break-in at Gould Farm in Monterey on August 12, 2009.

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