Near-collision forces driver to hit sign post in front of Monument Mountain High School

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GREAT BARRINGTON — A woman escaped injury early Thursday when she swerved to avoid a collision in front of Monument Mountain Regional High School and crashed into a stop sign, according to Great Barrington Police.

It was the second incident in less than two months in front of the school — a known traffic trouble spot.

The woman was heading north on Route 7 in a 2011 Hyundai about 8 a.m. when male student, who was heading south in a 1995 Jeep, crossed the woman's path while pulling into the school's driveway, nearly causing a collision, according to Police Chief William Walsh. The student told police he didn't see the other vehicle.

The woman swerved, driving over the center median and then over the northern median, striking a stop sign post with her rear-view mirror and a portion of the passenger rear quarter panel, Walsh said.

The two cars did not make contact.

"Thankfully no one was hurt," Walsh said in a prepared release. "We remind drivers to use caution in this heavily trafficked area, especially during hours before and after school begins."

In the release, Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin said she recognizes this is a troublesome area and she is currently engaged in discussions with the state to come up with potential solutions.

"The town, the Berkshire Hills Regional School District School Committee, and the superintendent's office are working together to find a viable traffic solution for this stretch of roadway," Tabakin said. "As this is a state road, this effort includes the involvement of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. We are also grateful to state Rep. [William] 'Smitty' Pignatelli for his support."

The Great Barrington Police Department conducts traffic control in front of the school during peak hours, but Thursday's incident occurred less than 5 minutes after the officer had left.

On Jan. 11, a student pulled out of the school and struck a vehicle driven by a woman with two small children in the car. No one was seriously injured in that crash, but it revived the discussion about how to improve the dangerous intersection.


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