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Cause of crash probed by police - Republican - 07/13/2006


Cause of Crash Probed by Police

© The Republican Company .  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.

By NANCY H. GONTER; STAFF; The Republican

WILLIAMSBURG - It appears speed was a factor in a Tuesday evening accident on Petticoat Hill Road that left two young men hospitalized, authorities said yesterday.

Police Chief John W. Cotton said that rescue workers from Williamsburg, Goshen and Northampton were needed to free the three entrapped in the car after it struck a utility pole shortly after 6:30 p.m.

"It took the combined use of three separate Jaws of Life tools. Goshen, Williamsburg and Northampton all worked on the car," Cotton said.

The most seriously injured was the driver, Shawn Robbins, 20, of 43 Harryell St., Pittsfield, who was in critical condition yesterday at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.

Officials had hoped to use a helicopter to transport him to the hospital because of the severity of his injuries, but the stormy weather prevented the helicopter from taking off, Cotton said.

Levi Bissell, 16, of 356 East New Lenox Road, Pittsfield, was taken to Baystate Medical where he was in good condition yesterday.

Two other passengers in the vehicle were treated and released. Jacob Defoe, 15, of 572 McNerry Road, Becket, went to Baystate Medical Center. And Connor Coyne, 16, of 27 Nottingham Drive, Pittsfield, was taken to Cooley Dickinson Hospital.

When emergency personnel responded to the scene, they found three of the young men entrapped in the vehicle and one outside the car, but Cotton said he did not know which one.

"The car is totaled. It was literally folded in half. The force was such that the middle of the car was touching the ground and the roof caved in on top of the people," he said.

While it appears speed was a factor in the accident, it is still under investigation by Williamsburg Detective William Chapman with the assistance of the Massachusetts State Police accident reconstruction team, Cotton said.

Assisting at the scene were the Northampton Fire Department rescue squad, the Goshen rescue squad, firefighters from Chesterfield and ambulances Northampton, American Medical Response and Highland Ambulance. Information on seatbelts was unavailable yesterday.

(July 13, 2006)