WEST STOCKBRIDGE — A man whose vehicle careened off Route 41 and crashed through a resident's front yard is asking that criminal charges against him be dropped because police later mailed him the citation instead of presenting it to him immediately.
In a hearing last week in Southern Berkshire District Court, an attorney for Jarrod Niebloom, 33, of Boston and Livingston, N.J., filed a motion to dismiss charges from the March 9 accident that include speeding and operating to endanger, on the basis that the state's "no-fix" law requires police to give drivers tickets at the time and place of the violation.
Attorney Alexander Sohn also argues that a news article in The Eagle about the crash that was published before Niebloom received the citation from West Stockbridge Police Officer Santi Messina aggravates the the circumstances of the after-the-fact ticket.
Judge William Rota said he would put the matter under advisement, and scheduled another pretrial hearing for Oct. 29.
Witnesses up and down the southern end of Route 41 say they estimated Niebloom traveled at speeds approaching 100 mph before he lost control of his black BMW 750, snapped a telephone pole in two, and plowed through a stand of hemlocks before coming to rest in a resident's yard.
No one was injured, including Niebloom.
It happened in the Williamsville stretch of Route 41, amid a cluster of homes, where residents say they are menaced by speeding cars and the occasional drag-racing that has historically plagued the road. The crisis prompted one resident to place a sign on the lawn asking drivers to slow down, which also says, "Lives Matter."
West Stockbridge Police Chief Marc Portieri is aware of the problem, but said in March that his budget only allows him one officer on duty at a time, so the road can't constantly be patrolled.
Exceptions to the "no-fix" law include an inability to stop a motorist at the time of the violation, and if "additional time was reasonably necessary to determine the nature of the violation or the identity of the violator."
Sohn says that, in this case, there was no need for additional time.
Heather Bellow can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871.