Friday May 25, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A police officer suffered a "medical incident" behind the wheel just before the cruiser he was driving collided with four cars, according to a Pittsfield Police accident report.

The report, released on Thursday, didn't specify what kind of medical problem befell Police Officer Robert Najimy while he was on routine patrol Tuesday on Orchard Street.

Najimy was driving east on Orchard around 1 p.m. on Tuesday when his cruiser struck two parked vehicles, then collided with a Honda Ridgeline pickup truck turning left onto Second Street. The impact spun the pickup, which struck and broke a utility pole.

The cruiser continued east and careened through a metal gate before hitting a fifth car, a Toyota.

The cruiser came to rest against a chain-link fence on the lawn of the Berkshire County Sheriff Office's Juvenile Resource Center on Second Street. The report does not indicate how fast Najimy might have been going at the time of the accident.

Najimy and the driver of the Honda Ridgeline, Christopher A. Plankey, 61, of Cheshire Road, Pittsfield, were transported to Berkshire Medical Center and treated for minor injuries. No one was in the other three vehicles at the time of the crash.

The police cruiser, the Honda and the Toyota sustained significant damage. The city was found at fault for the accident, according to the report.

The Police Department released the name of the officer and the other injured driver on Thursday after requiring The Eagle to make a formal request for information about the accident.