State DOT examining dangerous Lenox intersection after 17th crash in four years
LENOX -- The Department of Transportation is evaluating data on 17 accidents from 2009 through Tuesday night at the intersection of Route 7 & 20 and Holmes Road following the second mishap in eight days at the trouble-prone, heavily traveled location.
The most recent crash on Tuesday evening injured four people, one seriously, and resulted in the arrest of a driver who faces a Thursday court appearance on charges of drunken driving resulting in serious injury.
According to the Lenox police investigation, the southbound motorist made an illegal left turn on a green light, failing to yield against oncoming traffic and colliding with a northbound vehicle. On Nov. 19, a three-vehicle pileup followed a driver's illegal left turn on green despite oncoming traffic, sending one motorist to Berkshire Medical Center with serious injuries.
The Tuesday accident was the third this autumn at the intersection, the 10th in three years and the 17th in four years. The Nov. 19 crash prompted communication about the dangerous intersection between the state Department of Transportation and Police Chief Stephen O'Brien, who provided four years of data on all the incidents.
Most of the accidents have involved failure to yield to oncoming traffic on a green light, O'Brien said, despite warning signage. A left-turn green arrow permits drivers to enter Holmes Road with all other traffic halted.
"Hopefully, the state will come up with a plan to rectify the situation," he said.
Responding to an Eagle inquiry, Michael Verseckes, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, stated: "Right now, we're working with the Lenox police to examine the frequency and types of crashes at this intersection. From this analysis, we'll evaluate the potential solutions and move forward with a remedy that addresses the issue."
In Tuesday's 5:50 p.m. mishap, Michael T. Boyle, 19, of West Street, Pittsfield, the driver of the southbound 2007 Toyota Corolla, was arrested on multiple charges after he was treated and released from Berkshire Medical Center. He was released on personal recognizance late Tuesday evening, and he is scheduled to be at a hearing at Southern Berkshire District Court Thursday morning on four charges.
Boyle's rear-seat passenger, Brett M. Borden, 23, of Schulze Road in the town of Washington, was rushed to Berkshire Medical Center on an advanced life-support ambulance with what appeared to be potentially life-threatening injuries, O'Brien said.
Following surgery, he was reported in stable condition on Wednesday afternoon, according to hospital officials.
A front-seat passenger, Ryan M. Fisher-Pratt, 19, of Plunkett Street, Pittsfield, was treated and released from BMC. None of the three was wearing a seat belt, police reported.
The sole occupant of a northbound 2011 Honda sedan that was hit by Boyle's vehicle, Thomas J. Burke, 51, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., also was released after treatment at the hospital.
The misdemeanor charges against Boyle include operating under the influence causing serious bodily injury, failing to yield to oncoming traffic, being a minor transporting alcohol, and possession of a small amount of marijuana, a civil infraction. Other charges may be pending against the two other occupants of Boyle's vehicle, said O'Brien.
Lenox Police Officers Sean Ward and William Fuore responded to the crash scene, as well as O'Brien. They were assisted by the state police based in Lee and members of the Lenox Fire Department. Lenox Ambulance and County Ambulance transported the accident victims to BMC.
To contact Clarence Fanto:
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