Charges might be filed in Stockbridge fatal accident

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This story has been corrected to reflect that the deceased hailed from Ghana. 

STOCKBRIDGE — A criminal investigation is underway by local police and state police after a two-car collision on Route 7 north of downtown on Friday night.

One person, a Pittsfield resident, was killed, and four others were injured, said Stockbridge Police Chief Darrell Fennelly. The name of the victim who died is still being withheld because his family lives in Ghana and had not been located by the State Department as of Monday morning.

Based on initial indications, just after 11 p.m. on Friday, Michelle S. Curletti, 42, of West Stockbridge, who was driving a 2016 BMW southbound, crossed the center line of the state highway.

According to witnesses, the BMW suddenly swerved into the northbound lane between 19 and 23 East St., Fennelly said, striking the driver's side of a 2015 Toyota RAV4 driven by Fidelis N. Morkeh, 40, of Pittsfield, who had three passengers in his SUV.

The angled impact caused the SUV to spin, leave the roadway and hit a tree on the rear passenger's side, according to the preliminary investigation.

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All five people involved were transported to Berkshire Medical Center by Lee, Lenox and County Ambulance services. One of the passengers in the Toyota was pronounced dead at the hospital, the local police report stated. The other four had non-life threatening injuries, Fennelly told The Eagle on Monday.

The four people in the Toyota, all residents of Pittsfield, are employed by Hillcrest Educational Center in Great Barrington.

Stockbridge police Officer Kyle Kemp, working the night shift Friday, responded to the scene along with Fennelly and Sgt. Kirk Nichols, and Stockbridge Fire Department interim Chief Neil Haywood, Assistant Chief Peter Socha and Ernest "Chuckie" Cardillo, interim senior fire captain, who is on paid partial administrative leave.

Also assisting at the accident scene were Lenox and Lee police and workers from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to help shut down the highway.

Stockbridge police notified the state police Collision Analysis Reconstruction Section and the detective unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office.

Toxicology results are awaited for Curletti, the BMW driver and only occupant of the vehicle, Fennelly said. Based on the preliminary and ongoing investigation into the cause of the accident, charges might be pending, he added.

Clarence Fanto can be reached at cfanto@yahoo.com, on Twitter @BE_cfanto or at 413-637-2551.


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