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Overland Bikers Injured in Arkansas Crash

Staff Reports

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A group of bicyclists participating in an Overland cross-country trip were struck by a car in Arkansas on Tuesday afternoon.

Arkansas State Police say seven people were injured on State Highway 17, two miles north of McCroy, when a northbound car struck the cyclists in the back of a group of 13 at about 4:35 p.m.

Overland's founders Tom and Liz Costley of Williamstown are in Arkansas with the families, according to updates on the Overland website. Two staff members are also there.

Three people were airlifted from the highway to hospitals in Memphis, Tenn., and Little Rock. Four others were taken to local hospitals by ambulance, according to state police. The driver of the car was not injured.

Overland, which offers a range of summer camps and outdoor adventures for teens and youngsters, is headquartered on Spring Street. The cyclists were participating in a cross-county trip, the 3,000-mile American Challenge, that began two weeks ago in South Carolina and was set to finish at the Santa Monica Pier in California at the beginning of August.

In a statement from Overland posted late Wednesday morning, five of those injured were still in the hospital, one in critical condition. Two others were released. Overland's clientele comes from around the country; it was not clear if any of those injured were local residents.

Overland said it would continue to update its site as more information became available:

"We continue to express our deepest concern for those injured and for their families, and reiterate our gratitude to responding emergency personnel, including responding law enforcement personnel. We appreciate the support we have received from professionals, families and friends in the area, as well as the support from the community of Overland families and leaders."

     

Williamstown Police Seeking Suspect in Armed Assault

Williamstown Police

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Police are seeking information about an armed assault that occurred Sunday at about 9:30 p.m. at the intersection of South and Main streets.

The victim reported being approached from behind by the assailant, who assaulted and held a knife on the victim while looking for money.

The victim was able to get free and call for help. The invidual was treated at North Adams Regional Hospital for minor facial injuries sustained in the altercation.

The suspect is described a white male, about 6-foot-tall, wearing a dark jacket with a hooded sweat shirt underneath and a beanie hat, or tocque. The victim was not identified.

Williamstown Police are asking that residents report any suspicious behavior or motor vehicles immediately by dialing the department 413-458-5733 or the emergency 911 number. Anyone with information about this specific incident is asked to contact Sgt. Scott McGowan at the department number.
 

     

Williamstown Man Facing Child Exploitation Charges

Staff Reports

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The U.S. attorney's office has charged a Williamstown man of sexual exploitation of children.

Ronald Brown, 50, is accused of meeting a 16-year-old boy online and arranging for the boy to run away. Brown, a Level 2 registered sex offender, allegedly engaged the boy in a longer series of texts, chat sessions and email involving explicit sexual communications. On Jan. 8, Brown viewed the child masturbating on Skype and received naked photos, said prosecutors.

Brown allegedly also purchased a one-way ticket for the boy to fly to Newark, N.J., sent him $150 for traveling expenses and instructed him to erase the files on his computer. On Jan. 19, the boy flew to meet Brown.

Brown was later stopped by police as they were on their way toward Massachusetts.

The case was investigated with the assistance of the Williamstown Police Department, state police, and the New York State Police. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven H. Breslow.

The maximum sentence under the statute is 50 years in prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The affadavit against Brown can be viewed here.

     

Williamstown Road Closed Briefly for Car off the Road

By Stephen Dravis
Williamstown Correspondent

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Police on late Monday afternoon were at the scene of a single-car accident on Syndicate Road.

Officers at the scene said no one was injured in the incident, in which the car with New York license plates apparently slid off the storm-slickened road and downhill toward the Hoosic River.

A tow truck from Ron's Auto Repair on Main Street pulled the car back onto the road. The road was closed for fewer than 15 minutes.

     

Williamstown Man Facing Charges After Crash

Williamstown Police

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A Williamstown man has been charged with multiple motor vehicle violations, including his third offense of drunken driving, after a crashing on North Hoosac Road on Wednesday night.

Edgar A. Bump, 40, of Mill Street is facing single counts of operating under the influence of liquor (3rd offense), operating to endanger, passing in violation of pavement markings, speeding and failing to wear a seat belt.

The crash was reported at about 9:24 p.m. in the 100 block of North Hoosac Road. Bump apparently tried to pass another vehicle in a no-passing zone and lost control of his Blazer, going off the road and hitting a utility pole. Officer Preston Kelly was the first on the scene and found Bump in his heavily damaged 2000 Chevrolet Blazer.

Bump, the only occupant in the Blazer, had to be extricated with the Jaws of Life by the Fire Department and was taken by Village Ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield. Firefighters also hosed the vehicle down to prevent it becoming involved in fire. The Highway Department was called to sand the wet road because of the black ice that was forming.

National Grid was contacted to inspect the utility pole. No one else was injured in the crash.

The crash and subsequent investigation closed the roadway from Cole Avenue in Williamstown to Ashton Avenue in North Adams from 9:24 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The investigation was conducted by Kelly and Sgt. Scott McGowan.

     
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