Head-On Collision North Adams Leaves One in Critical Condition
Update, 3:19 p.m., June 17: The driver of the Dodge Durango involved in Friday's head-on collision is expected to face "numerous motor vehicle charges," according to police.
Robert Matte Jr., 43, of North Adams, has been identified as the owner and driver of the northbound Durango that apparently veered into the opposite lane and hit a Honda CRV with five people in it, including two very young children.
Kaileigh Lewis, 23, of North Adams, a passenger in the back seat of the Honda, was severely injured in the crash. Also injured was Diane Pearson, 49, the Honda's driver, who was visiting from Texas to see her new grandchild, 4-day-old Aleksei Davila, who was in the back seat.
Also in the Honda was Marcos Davila Rodriguez, the car's owner, in the front passenger seat, and 2-year-old Inali Davis, also in the back.
Both children were in secure car seats but Lewis, who was sitting between them, was not wearing a seat belt, according to Sgt. James Burdick.
"Everybody was transported to various hospitals," he said on Saturday. "Some when to BMC North and some went to BMC Pittsfield and some went to Bay State Medical Center in Springfield. ... Ms. Pearson was pretty severely injured and Ms. Lewis was severely injured."
The 2-year-old was taken as a precaution to Bay State because of striations, or bruising, caused by the seat belts, he said. However, he added, "that's because they had the child properly seat belted and locked in a child safety seat, which is excellent."
Both the driver and the passenger in the Honda had seat belts on; Lewis and Matte did not.
"That's why we advocate all of the time for seat belts and car seats," Burdick said.
He said the accident is still under investigation and that "Matte will be facing numerous motor vehicle charges."
"We are still waiting on accident reconstruction to finish with their investigation and we will put the charges together at that time and he will be charged accordingly," the sergeant said.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A head-on collision on south Church Street on Friday afternoon left several people injured, one in critical condition.
The collision between two sport utility vehicles occurred just about 2 p.m. by the Peter W. Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink.
Police Lt. Jason Wood said a northbound Dodge Durango veered into the opposite lane and hit a Honda CRV that was heading south.
Wood said at this point, it is unknown why the Dodge crossed the center line.
"For whatever reason, it left the travel lane and we are trying to figure out why that occurred," he said.
There were five occupants — including a young child and an infant — in the Honda. Wood believed that all five were taken to Berkshire Medical Center in North Adams or Pittsfield by North Adams Ambulance Service. Wood said one occupant of the Honda has been listed in critical condition and that the driver of the Dodge did not appear to be injured.
Wood said one of the school resource officers was at Drury High School and was able to get to the accident quickly. He said he had been in contact with state police that the accident was still under investigation.
Two other cars southbound were also involved when one stopped because of the accident and was rear-ended by the vehicle following. Neither car appeared to sustain notable damage. The front end of the Honda, however, incurred significant damage.
South Church was closed from West Shaft Road south (it was still closed just before 5 p.m., police say to expect the road to be closed until 8 p.m.) and traffic was turned around or routed over West Shaft.
Both North Adams Police and Fire responded to the accident. Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts campus police and Adams Police helped reroute traffic and Adams Ambulance also provided assistance.
Superior Court Briefs: June 12 - June 13
Cases heard before Judge Maureen Hogan on Monday, June 12.
Laura Reilly, 42, of Easthampton had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on three counts of misleading a police officer or other person.
She was released on $1,500 bail. Reilly is accused of misleading State Police detectives in the investigation of the disappearance of 39-year-old Joanne Ringer. Ringer has been missing from her Clarksburg home since March 2, 2017.
Thomas Tobin Jr., 43, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of trafficking in cocaine, possession of a large capacity firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, illegal possession of a large capacity weapon, illegal possession of a large capacity feeding device, illegal possession of a firearm, and illegal possession of a loaded firearm.
He was released on $1,000 bail. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on April 17, 2017.
Cases heard before Judge Maureen Hogan on Tuesday, June 13.
Duane Griffiths, 34, of Clarksburg had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, two counts of reckless endangerment of a child, two counts of assault and battery on a child with injury, and single counts of assault and battery on a child, assault and battery, and carrying a dangerous weapon.
He was released on $2,500 bail. The charges stem from incidents involving two children, ages 13 and 14, in Adams and Clarksburg on October 1, 2015, and February 17, 2017.
Jessica Lescarbeau, 34, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on two counts of assault and battery on a child with injury, two counts of assault and battery, two counts of intimidation of a witness, two counts of reckless endangerment of a child, and a single counts of assault and battery on a child.
She was released on personal recognizance. The charges stem from incidents involving two children, ages 13 and 14, in Adams and Clarksburg on October 1, 2015, and February 17, 2017.
Samuel Thomason, 21, of Lenox had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of trafficking in cocaine, possession of a large capacity firearm, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, illegal possession of a large capacity weapon, illegal possession of a large capacity feeding device, illegal possession of a firearm, and illegal possession of a loaded firearm.
He was released on $1,000 bail. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on April 17, 2017.
Hoosac Valley Student Killed in Motor Vehicle Accident
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Hoosac Valley High School community is mourning the tragic death of one its students late Monday night.
Kaliq Sherman, a junior, was killed in a single car accident on upper East Hoosac Street.
There were five other teenagers in the care with him, including three Hoosac students who incurred injuries in the crash. All five teens were taken to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield by ambulance and were treated for minor injuries.
According to the district attorney's office, the accident occurred about 11:30 on Monday night. When emergency responders arrived on the scene they found a vehicle that had travelled down a steep embankment and was resting on the passenger side against a tree.
Sherman, 17, of Adams was inside the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. Five other occupants of the vehicle were located and taken to Berkshire Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries.
The accident remains under investigation by state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office, state troopers from Crime Scene Services (CSS) and the Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section (CARS) and members of the Adams Police Department.
Hoosac Princial Jeremiah Ames said Sherman was a member of the track team and "an enthusiastic artist."
"We have spoken with all of our students about what occurred," he wrote in an email to the Hoosac community and parents.
Parents were informed earlier on Tuesday about the incident and told that counselors would be available for students who needed to speak with them or would be given some time alone to deal to process what had happened.
"The best thing for many of our students today will be to stick to established routines," Ames wrote. "Know that we will continue to do all we can to support your children through this difficult time."
Superintendent Robert Putnam said the school's Crisis Team went to work early in the morning to provide timely information and emotional support for students, families, and staff. Neighboring districts alsocalled in to offer support and personnel and counselors from McCann Technical School and C.T. Plunkett joined the Hoosac Valley team to provide additional support because of their familiarity with our students.
"The ACRSD deeply appreciates the offer of support and sympathy from our neighbors," Putnam wrote. "The thoughts and prayers of the entire ACRSD community go out to the families of the students involved."
Superior Court Briefs: June 7 - June 8
Cases heard before Judge Maureen Hogan on Wednesday, June 7.
John Dyer Sr., 41, of Springfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense.
He was released on $1,000 bail. The incident allegedly occurred in Pittsfield on March 24, 2017.
Cases heard before Judge Maureen Hogan on Thursday, June 8.
Troy Fernandez, 27, of Dorchester pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of cocaine.
He was ordered to serve 45 days at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The charge stems from the execution of a search warrant at 144 Brayton Hill Terrace in North Adams on December 6, 2016.
Pittsfield Police: No Cause For Alarm About Missing Teen Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In the past few day, the Police Department has posted on Facebook numerous requests for information regarding local missing teenagers. In the last 10 days, there have been eight juveniles reported as missing or runaway.
That, of course, triggered alarm among many fearing there was some type of outbreak of abductions or a trend. But, on Thursday, the Police Department said that isn't true.
The department had used Facebook to gather leads on several missing teens. Seeing success, it kept using Facebook to get the word out in hopes to find the other missing juveniles.
"The decision to make the recent posts was made by the investigating detectives in an effort to generate leads and based on recent success. For example, one of the missing teens was located with 24 hours of our Facebook post," wrote Capt. Jeffrey Bradford.
"The social media post reached 46,157 people and was shared 1,228 times. While the circumstances of these cases cannot be released, the information gathered by our department does not point to a specific public safety risk. Although we are always concerned when a juvenile's whereabouts is not known by their parent or legal guardian, and our detectives treat these cases seriously, the recent number of reports is not unusual or out of the ordinary for our community."
Of the eight reported missing, which police say is a normal number of reports, six have already been found and two reported on Wednesday remain missing. The department has since deleted posts regarding the missing teens who were found.
"The purpose of this press release is to inform the media and public that our department has not received any information that these teens have been victimized or that the individual reports are connected," Bradford wrote.
The department also clarified its terminology when saying a juvenile is "missing" or is a "runaway." Missing is a term used to describe individuals who have not been in contact with family or friends for an unusual amount of time and runaway is a juvenile who said he or she had no intent to return to parents or legal guardians.
"In many cases, it is not clear which category best describes a specific juveniles situation. As a result of this the words 'missing' and 'runaway' are commonly used together," Bradford wrote.
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