Morning snow causes five accidents in one hour


LENOX — A burst of heavy pre-dawn snow that left area highways and byways with a treacherous coating of ice led to five accidents in a one-hour period around dawn on Tuesday.

A rollover involving a Jeep Grand Cherokee on the Route 7 and 20 bypass at Housatonic Street forced a nearly one-hour shutdown of the heavily-traveled state highway in both directions, said Lenox Police Chief Stephen O'Brien. The accident caused no serious injuries, he said.

The most serious incident involved a motorist heading southbound on Route 7 and 20 near the Days Inn. The driver's vehicle slammed into a utility pole after crossing into the northbound lanes shortly before 8 a.m.

Lenox Ambulance EMTs transported Melissa Lapointe, 47, of Hancock Road in Pittsfield, to Berkshire Medical Center with what police described as serious but non life-threatening injuries. A condition report was not immediately available.

Speed appeared to be a factor, but the highway had just been treated with salt and sand, said Lenox Police Officer Sean Ward, who responded to the scene with O'Brien, Senior Officer Timothy Sheehan and units from the Lenox Fire Department, Lenox Ambulance and County Ambulance.

Lapointe, who was driving a 2002 Jeep Liberty, had not been wearing a seat belt, according to the police report. The damaged utility pole was being repaired as of Tuesday morning.

The other three weather-related accidents in Lenox did not result in personal injury.

The snow squall that dumped one to two inches on portions of the Berkshires early Tuesday was caused by a band of lake-effect snow that originated over the Great Lakes, according to the National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y. Temperatures were in the low to mid 20s before dawn, which caused an icy buildup of snow before highway crews could treat the roadways.

To contact Clarence Fanto: or (413) 637-2551. On Twitter: @BE_cfanto


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