Children, driver still in hospital after crash; children weren't in car seats


OTIS -- Two young children who weren't in car seats suffered head injuries after the vehicle they were riding in crashed head-on into a tree on Route 23 on Wednesday night, according to the Otis police chief.

Around 7:35 p.m., Kathleen Rocco, 21, of Otis, was driving east just past the Monterey town line when she lost control of the car, which went off the road and slammed into a tree, said Police Chief Roberta Sarnacki.

Rocco's 14-month-old daughter was in the lap of her father, 27-year-old Mark Hamilton, 27, of Otis. Brandy Champiney, 33, and her 4-year-old daughter, also unrestrained, were in the back seat.

The airbags deployed, which burned the 14-month-old's face and caused her other head injuries, according to Sarnacki. The 4-year-old also suffered head injuries.

Rocco sustained several broken bones, including one to her hip.

Hamilton and Champiney suffered less serious injuries and were treated and released from Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Sarnacki said.

Rocco, her daughter, and the 4-year-old also were transported to BMC, but Rocco and her daughter were later transferred to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.

Champiney's daughter remains at BMC.

Condition reports on all three were unavailable Thursday night.

Sarnacki said Rocco will be charged with negligent driving, two counts of reckless endangerment of a child, and two counts of driving with unrestrained children in the car.

Hamilton and Champiney also face two counts each of reckless endangerment for allowing the children to be unrestrained passengers, the chief added.

Additional charges in the case are pending, according to Sarnacki. The crash remains under investigation.

To reach Dick Lindsay:,
or (413) 496-6233.


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