Second collision with moose prompts new alert for Berkshire drivers

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Police are urging motorists to be on the lookout following two after-dark collisions between vehicles and moose in Becket and Stockbridge.

A New York state man struck a large bull moose about 8:26 p.m. Sunday on Route 20 near Uncle Larry's Tavern in Becket, said Police Officer Michael Hunt.

The driver, Anthony Williams, was transported by the Becket Ambulance Department, where he was treated and released, officials said. The moose was killed and the car, a BMW, was extensively damaged.

Hunt noted that in a typical year, there are one or two collisions involving moose in the town.

That crash came three days after a moose was struck by two vehicles on Route 102 in Stockbridge between the Massachusetts Turnpike overpass and the Stockbridge Sportsmen's Club.

The animal was first struck by an eastbound motorist just after 8 p.m. Thursday, according to Police Chief Darrell Fennelly. But the driver, Dorothy Moore, of Newburgh, N.Y., did not report the incident until Friday morning, telling police that the moose ran into the passenger side of her vehicle, causing some damage.

"We think the moose was injured and lying in the road when it was struck by a pickup truck," said Fennelly. The impact of the collision "launched the truck into the air like a ramp," he added. "We believe the moose's legs had been injured by its previous encounter with the car."

The pickup truck driver, Clint Babcock, of West Stockbridge, was taken to Berkshire Medical Center, where he remained in stable condition on Monday, according to a hospital spokesman.

The eastbound truck, which hit a telephone pole after colliding with the moose, was heavily damaged and the moose was killed, Fennelly said.

Stockbridge Police, the fire department and Lee Ambulance responded to the scene.

"There's wildlife everywhere," Fennelly observed. Moose sightings used to be very uncommon, he added, "but now people seem them quite often."

According to the state Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, since September and October are mating season for moose, it's an especially dangerous time for motorists since most of the animals are over six feet tall, weigh up to 1,000 pounds, and have dark coats that make them hard to spot at night. There have been 19 collisions involving vehicles and moose statewide so far this year.

Department spokesman Marion Larson recommended that drivers who see a moose should try to stop rather than swerve to avoid hitting it. There are an estimated 1,000 to 1,100 moose across the state.

Contact Clarence Fanto at 413-637-2551.


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