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Sweet Brook Farm Barn, Sugar House Destroyed in Fire

By Stephen Dravis
iBerkshires Staff
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Law enforcement vehicles at Rotary Park. A Pittsfield man was shot by police after allegedly fleeing a traffic stop. His SUV smashed into the concrete barriers at the park.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — After a day spent battling downed wires and tree limbs as a result of Monday's high winds, emergency officials spent Monday evening battling a fire that broke out at Sweet Brook Farm.

The farm, located at 580 Oblong Road in South Williamstown, grows vegetables, produces maple syrup and breeds stock and fiber-quality alpacas. It is owned and operated by the Phelps family.

Firefighters from Williamstown, North Adams, Hancock, New Ashford and Pownal, Vt., responded to the fire, which broke out between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Clarksburg also sent a tanker. Stamford, Vt., covered the Williamstown station during the blaze.

No one was injured in the blaze, which totaled the farm's barn and sugar house. Officials on the scene were concerned that the high winds would blow the fire into the farm's residence, about 50 feet away from the barn, so they doused the home, successfully preventing it from igniting.

Williamstown Fire Chief Craig Pedercini reports that to his knowledge all the animals in the structure escaped. Sweet Brook Farm posted on its Facebook page that the animals are all OK, as well.

     

Single Car Accident Causes Road Closure in Williamstown

Staff Reports
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Law enforcement vehicles at Rotary Park. A Pittsfield man was shot by police after allegedly fleeing a traffic stop. His SUV smashed into the concrete barriers at the park.
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Law enforcement vehicles at Rotary Park. A Pittsfield man was shot by police after allegedly fleeing a traffic stop. His SUV smashed into the concrete barriers at the park.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Traffic was snarled for about a half-hour Wednesday afternoon by a one-car accident on Simonds Road that saw one person taken away by ambulance.
 
A little after noon, a car southbound on U.S. Route 7 lost control, striking and severing a utility pole on the west side of the road, according to Williamstown Police.
 
The car, which sustained severe front-end damage, ended up across the road and perpendicular to the flow of traffic.
 
Police confirmed that there were two occupants of the vehicle, including the driver. One occupant, whose name was not available, was transported from the scene by Northern Berkshire EMS. The individual appeared to be conscious and alert.
 
Ron's Auto Repair of Main Street removed the vehicle from the scene, and with National Grid personnel on scene, police were able to restore traffic in a single lane by just before 1 p.m.
 
At about 2:15, National Grid killed power to the neighborhood while it conducted repairs to the line. Power was restored about at about 4:45.
 
The utility pole involved was replaced in the spring after an accident that damaged the previous pole at the spot.
 
Police said Wednesday's accident is under investigation.
 
     

Williamstown Woman Killed in Pownal Crash

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Law enforcement vehicles at Rotary Park. A Pittsfield man was shot by police after allegedly fleeing a traffic stop. His SUV smashed into the concrete barriers at the park.
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Law enforcement vehicles at Rotary Park. A Pittsfield man was shot by police after allegedly fleeing a traffic stop. His SUV smashed into the concrete barriers at the park.
image description
Law enforcement vehicles at Rotary Park. A Pittsfield man was shot by police after allegedly fleeing a traffic stop. His SUV smashed into the concrete barriers at the park.
Updated at 3:41 p.m. POWNAL, Vt. — A Williamstown, Mass., woman was killed Friday morning after her sport utility vehicle was totaled in a three-car accident on Route 7. 
 
Kristie M. Kuziel, 54, was taken by medical helicopter to Albany, N.Y., Medical Center, where she later died. 
 
According to state police, a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe operated by Kuziel was northbound on Route 7 when her vehicle crossed into the left lane in Center Pownal and collided head-on with a southbound 2013 Honda CRV. The energy from the collision forced the Honda into the rear-end of 2016 Ford E45 transit van, which was parked on the southbound shoulder of the roadway. 
 
State troopers responded the report of the crash with a trapped occupant in the Hyundai at about 8:52 a.m. The Pownal Fire Department and Bennington Rescue Squad also responded. 
 
According to State Trooper Shawn Sommers, Kuziel, who was not wearing a seat belt, sustained internal injuries and a broken leg and was flown by medical helicopter to Albany Medical Center. The driver of the Honda, Emma G. Mattison, 26, of Pownal sustained less-serious injuries and was taken to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center by the Bennington Rescue Squad. 
 
No one was in the van. All three vehicles are considered totaled. The highway was closed for 2 1/2 hours and motorists detoured down Center Street. The road reopened around 11:30.
 
No further information was being released at this time.
     

Williamstown Accident Takes Down Utility Pole

Staff Reports
image description
Law enforcement vehicles at Rotary Park. A Pittsfield man was shot by police after allegedly fleeing a traffic stop. His SUV smashed into the concrete barriers at the park.
image description
Law enforcement vehicles at Rotary Park. A Pittsfield man was shot by police after allegedly fleeing a traffic stop. His SUV smashed into the concrete barriers at the park.
image description
Law enforcement vehicles at Rotary Park. A Pittsfield man was shot by police after allegedly fleeing a traffic stop. His SUV smashed into the concrete barriers at the park.
image description
Law enforcement vehicles at Rotary Park. A Pittsfield man was shot by police after allegedly fleeing a traffic stop. His SUV smashed into the concrete barriers at the park.

What appear to be skid marks are visible on the sidewalk west of the downed utility pole.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Traffic on Main Street (Route 2) was slowed mid-afternoon Wednesday as authorities cleaned up from a single-vehicle accident near the Spruces park.
 
An eastbound black Ford pickup appeared to cross through the westbound lane and collide with a utility pole.
 
First responders on the scene reported that the driver of the vehicle was not transported by the ambulance that responded to the accident.
 
The collision with utility pole damaged one nearby home by pulling the lines from the side of the house. There were no reports of outages in the vicinity.
 
The accident was reported at about 2:30 p.m. and cleared up about an hour later.
 
     

Woman Found Not Guilty in Williamstown Hit-and-Run

Staff Reports
image description
Law enforcement vehicles at Rotary Park. A Pittsfield man was shot by police after allegedly fleeing a traffic stop. His SUV smashed into the concrete barriers at the park.
image description
Law enforcement vehicles at Rotary Park. A Pittsfield man was shot by police after allegedly fleeing a traffic stop. His SUV smashed into the concrete barriers at the park.
image description
Law enforcement vehicles at Rotary Park. A Pittsfield man was shot by police after allegedly fleeing a traffic stop. His SUV smashed into the concrete barriers at the park.
image description
Law enforcement vehicles at Rotary Park. A Pittsfield man was shot by police after allegedly fleeing a traffic stop. His SUV smashed into the concrete barriers at the park.
image description
Law enforcement vehicles at Rotary Park. A Pittsfield man was shot by police after allegedly fleeing a traffic stop. His SUV smashed into the concrete barriers at the park.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Williamstown woman was found not guilty on Wednesday of leaving the scene of a hit-and-run that has left a local woman in a coma for two years. 
 
But she and her husband were both found guilty of misleading police in the days following the incident that seriously injured Cheryl J. LeClaire, 54, of White Oaks Road in Williamstown. They were found not guilty of conspiracy to mislead. 
 
A Superior Court jury deliberated for eight hours before returning the verdicts in the cases against Sally J. Gould, 73, the driver in the incident, and her husband, John T. Gould, 71.
 
LeClaire was walking her dog on the evening of Feb. 9, 2016, along North Hoosac Road in Williamstown. A passing motorist found her lying in the road, unresponsive, at about 6:30 p.m. She was taken to Berkshire Medical Center with severe head trauma. Her dog was unharmed. 
 
Police investigators believed that LeClaire had been struck or brushed by a passing vehicle but there was little physical evidence at the scene and no witnesses. Some automotive materials led police to look for a Honda CRV with front-end damage.
 
The Goulds were arrested two weeks later and charged with misleading police in their investigation and conspiracy to mislead a police officer. Sally Gould was also charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury accident. 
 
The charges were based on actions taken by the Goulds to repair their 2014 Honda CRV, including replacing a windshield. Defensive attorneys argued that the sport utility vehicle being parked outside during this time and John Gould's willingness to speak to police showed there was no attempt to cover anything up. However, authorities said the Goulds gave inconsistent statements and told them the damage had occurred in a parking lot collision.
 
Judge John Agostini released both Goulds on personal recognizance pending sentencing on March 26 at 2 p.m.
     
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