Crash victim Peter Moore on the mend

Friday February 10, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Peter Moore, the 45-year-old victim of the alleged hit-and-run accident two months ago on Winesap Road, says he's slowly recovering from a mild traumatic brain injury, a broken neck and several other injuries.

Moore's improved physical condition allowed him this week to return his job -- on a limited basis -- at Berkshire Health Systems and resume his evening walks with Toby, the family dog.

"It's nice to get outside again and do things," he said in a phone interview with The Eagle. "The walk is my stress reliever after a day at work."

And Toby was glad to be out with his master after the long hiatus.

"There was a lot of excitement [to resume the walks] for both of us, but Toby and I are a bit out shape," said Moore.

On Dec. 8, Moore and Toby were fast-walking along Winesap Road when he was struck by a car around 8:15 p.m. Police later determined 24-year-old Meredith Nilan hit Moore while driving her father's 2001 Subaru Forester. Nilan is the daughter of Clifford Nilan, the chief of probation at Berkshire Superior Court.

Police charged the young woman with leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. However, following a 2 1/2-hour show-cause hearing on Jan. 12, Clerk Magistrate Nathan A. Byrnes of Westfield found "no probable cause" to charge Meredith Nilan with the two misdemeanors.

Pittsfield police have since appealed the decision, and the case is now before Springfield District Court Judge William P. Hadley whose ruling is expected this week.

Meanwhile, friends, relatives and strangers have rallied behind Moore, his wife Robin and their two children at home in order to help them cope with their ordeal.

"It's amazing the outpouring of support, especially from complete strangers," said Robin Moore. "The cards, the gift baskets and people just coming up to us in public wishing us well."

Andy Poncherello, of Pittsfield, is among those who doesn't know Peter Moore, coming to his aid. The local musician and booking agent has organized a benefit concert for the Moores on Sunday, Feb. 26, from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., at Chameleon's on East Street in Pittsfield.

Poncherello said he felt compelled to help Moore and his family.

"What happened to him could happen to anyone," he said. "I do walk my dog, too."

Poncherello helped stage a similar fundraiser at the local night club for fire victims Charles Ellsworth and Claudia Jean White, mother of former city councilor Peter T. White. Ellsworth and Mrs. White were burned out of their two-family home on Plunkett Street, Dec. 19. The benefit concert on Dec. 28 raised more than $4,000.

Peter Moore is appreciative and a "bit surprised" by Poncherello's effort on his behalf.

"I'm the luckiest unlucky guy I know," Moore said.

To reach Dick Lindsay:,
or (413) 496-6233.


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