SANDISFIELD -- After nearly four months of being lodged in the side of the historic New Boston Store, the 20-ton asphalt truck that crashed into the building after the brakes failed has been removed. The damaged section of the building also has been boarded up.

The store, which had been one of the longest continually operated stores in the country, had been hit by vehicles before, at least a dozen times, since current owner Peter Murray took over in 1977.

But the damage from last October's crash was so extensive that contractors said it wasn't possible to removed the truck from the building until earlier this month because it was acting as the only support for about a third of the structure. The store been closed since the accident in October.

Steve DellaGiustina and his son, Nick, owners of Tolland Mountain Builders, have been working on the building's repairs since the accident.

According to Steve DellaGiustina, a 12-foot section of the building, which was bore the brunt of the most damage, was safely boarded up prior to last Friday's snowstorm.

Building inspectors and engineers are scheduled to determine next week if the rest of the building is structurally sound or if any of the historic store is salvageable.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, but officials say it was most likely due to faulty brakes and not operator error.

The driver, 59-year-old Ken Langdon, of Springfield, told authorities he was driving the nearly 400-foot decent toward the New Boston Store when the brakes failed.


Advertisement

"I felt nothing," he said. "Just metal on metal."

Langdon began honking the truck's horn and flashing its lights, which gave Sue Murray, who was preparing to open the store, enough time to grab her dog and get out of the way.

No one was injured during the crash.

It's unclear when or if the Murrays will decide to re-open the store. The Murrays could not be reached for comment.

To reach Josh Stilts:
jstilts@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6243.
On Twitter: @JoshStilts