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Police: Street Racing Caused Curran Highway Accident

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff
A car and pickup involved in the accident sustained severe damage.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police say drag racers on Curran highway caused a three-car accident Thursday night; four people were taken to the hospital.

Sgt. James Burdick said at 10:57 p.m. a North Adams ambulance on its way back from Pittsfield reported two vehicles moving at a high rate of speed northbound on Curran Highway from Adams. He said a minute later, the ambulance called in a three-car accident near Ocean State Job Lot.

Alleged drag racer Hassen Delia, age 26, was driving his girlfriend's 2007 Infinity at a high rate of speed from the Adams line through an intersection on Curran Highway with another unidentified car, said police. 

"They went through an obvious intersection at Walmart at a very high rate of speed and one of the drag racers left [the scene]," Burdick said.

Burdick said three "innocents" were involved in the accident and taken to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield along with Delia.

Nathan Pitoniak, age 22, from Adams and an unidentified passenger were transferred along with Gabriella Schafer, age 18, to Pittsfield.

Burdick said the accident is still under investigation and police have information on the driver who fled the scene. He said Jaws of Life were needed to get all of the occupants out of the vehicles.

"We have some information that we are following up on, and the investigation is still ongoing," Burdick said. "Charges will be brought forward, no question about it."

Burdick did not have any information on any of the injuries, but said there had been no reports of fatalities at this time. He said the roadway was closed for more than seven hours, from 11 Thursday night to 6:30 Friday morning. The North Adams Police Department and North Adams Fire Department both called in a second shift to aid.

North Adams received mutual aid from Adams and Williamstown, he said. Adams Police Department and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts provided officers for traffic detail. The Williamstown Police Department provided the North Adams Police Department with back up while they tended to the accident. The Williamstown Fire Department supplied the North Adams Fire Department with another Jaws of Life for back up.  

Burdick said Village Ambulance of Williamstown provided back up for North Adams Ambulance. He said Adams Ambulance also helped.

The state police supplied crime scene services and provided photography and accident reconstruction services, he said.

"You pick the place, we all come together and help each other out," he said. "We always like to give kudos to the other towns."

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Williamstown Fire Destroys Garage

Staff Reports
Firefighters contain a structure fire on Hancock Road on Thursday afternoon.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A fire destroyed a large garage at 1352 Hancock Road on Thursday afternoon.

Numerous firefighters from several fire departments aided Williamstown fire crews in preventing the blaze from spreading.

The fire began sometime after noon. Hancock also responded to the scene as did Pownal and Pownal Valley fire departments from Vermont; Clarksburg Fire Department covered the station. Lanesborough firefighters were also at the scene.

No one was injured but equipment inside the metal garage was destroyed. According to documents in the Registry of Deeds, the property is owned by Michael Patten. The cause was under investigation.

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North Adams Woman, Son Arrested on Drug Charges

Staff Reports
Glendalis Rios

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A local woman and her teenage son were arrested on numerous drug and firearms charges on Monday, according to police.

City and state police and members of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at a Porter Street address at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, seizing more than 650 bags of heroin and $16,406 in cash. Also found were two handguns, a .38 and a .22 caliber revolver.

Glendalis Rios, 32, and her 16-year-old son were arraigned Tuesday in Northern Berkshire District Court.

Rios was charged with conspiracy to violate the Controlled Substances Act, inducing minor to distribute a drug, and knowingly being present where heroin is kept.

Her son, who attends Drury High, was charged with possession to distribute a Class A drug (heroin), two counts of possessing a firearm without a firearms identification card (one count for each gun), two counts of improperly storing a handgun near a minor, possession of ammunition without an FID card and conspiracy to violate the Controlled Substances Act.

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Dalton Woman Injured After Being Trapped in Burning House

Staff Reports

DALTON, Mass. — A local woman was injured after being trapped on the second floor of a burning home early Sunday evening.

Firefighters were able to extricate her and she was taken to Berkshire Medical Center. Fire Chief Gerald J. Cahalan Jr. said she was transferred to another facility from there but did not know where.

Her condition was unknown, other than she was alive; her name has not been released.

Cahalan said he was first on the scene at 62 Jennings Ave. and attempted to enter the front door but was forced back by heavy flames in the stairwell.

"I was notified by a neighbor that there maybe somebody possibly trapped in the house," he said late Sunday night. A member of the family that owns the house tried to access the back door but Cahalan stopped him.

"I figured once you opened the back door you were going to get a flash," he said.

The two-alarm fire was reported at about 7:12 p.m. at the 2 1/2 story home. Cahalan said firefighters responded quickly and knocked down the fire but it flared up again about 20 minutes later.

Smoke and flames could be seen coming from the second story at that point. Firefighters were attacking the blaze with ladders and hoses.

They first focused on extinguishing the fire and the stairwell and search for the victim. She was taken through a second story window and placed in an ambulance. One firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation after the rescue.

The victim was the only one in the house at the time.

The second alarm automatically called in mutual aid from Hinsdale and Windsor, the chief said. Hinsdale brings its rehab trailer and Lanesborough was called in to cover the station; a third alarm brings in Pittsfield.

Cahalan said the cause of the fire is under investigation. State police and representatives from the state fire marshal's office were still at the scene at midnight.

Cahalan thought the single-family home was salvageable.

"The response was great, the crews did a great job," he said. "Obviously, the house is standing."

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Superior Court Briefs: April 6 - April 7

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Monday, April 6.
 
Terance Harris, 35, of Springfield failed to appear in court and a warrant was issued. He is charged with two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws and single counts of trafficking in cocaine, and possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense.
 
The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Lenox on February 26, 2015.
 
Nancy Tarjick, 60, of Windsor had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on three counts of receiving stolen property over $250.
 
She was released on personal recognizance. Tarjick was allegedly in possession of items taken from housebreaks throughout the state over the past several years. 
 
James Tarjick Sr., 62, of Windsor had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of receiving stolen property over $250. 
 
He was released on personal recognizance. Tarjick was allegedly in possession of items taken from housebreaks throughout the state over the past several years.
 
James Tarjick Jr., 43, of Becket had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on six counts of receiving stolen property over $250 and a single count of being a common receiver of stolen goods.
 
He was released on $10,000 cash or surety bail. Tarjick was allegedly in possession of items taken from housebreaks through the state on January 14, 2015.
 
Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday, April 7.
 
Terance Harris, 35, of Springfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws, and single counts of trafficking in cocaine, and possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense.
 
He was released on $7,500 bail. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Lenox on February 26, 2015.
 
Gabrielle Garzone, 21, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of manufacturing cocaine, conspiracy to violate drug laws, possession of heroin, possession of Suboxone, and possession of Trazadone.
 
She was released on $2,500 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant in Pittsfield on March 3, 2015.
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413-743-
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