PITTSFIELD — A Dalton man, allegedly on drugs, crashed his pick-up truck into a residence on upper North Street Sunday evening, minutes after being spotted driving erratically in the Coltsville section of the city, police said.

Shortly after 6 p.m., police dispatch received several calls about a pick-up traveling in the wrong direction on Merrill Road and later swerving along Route 8 headed toward Lanesborough. As officers went to investigate, another 911 caller, around 6:30 p.m., reported a vehicle matching the description of the pick-up had crashed through a guard rail and side-swiped a multi family home at the corner of Crane Avenue and North Street, across from Dave's Sporting Goods.

Police identified the driver as 36-year-old Matthew David Chaffee. The driver wasn't seriously hurt, but was taken to Berkshire Medical Center. Police Lt. Jeffrey Bradford said officers at the scene suspected Chaffee had been using drugs, a suspicion confirmed at the hospital.

Bradford expected the driver, still at BMC late Sunday night, to be charged with at least operating under the influence of heroin.

Witnesses in vehicles stopped at the red light at Crane and North before the crash occurred told police that Chaffee flew through the intersection off of Crane at about 50 miles an hour. The impact bent the guard rail in half, ripped out the posts, and ended up damaging some siding and the front doors of the dwelling. The lone tenant in the home at the time wasn't hurt, but had to leave as a city inspector called to the scene found multiple building code violations unrelated to the crash and ordered the landlord to close the building and find temporary housing for the tenant.


Contact Dick Lindsay at 413 496-6233