Lenox man injured in crash at Third Thursday event in Pittsfield

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PITTSFIELD — A Lenox man was seriously injured on Thursday when a large pickup hit and pinned him under the vehicle, just as revelers arrived for the first Third Thursday of the season.

The truck, a 2015 Ford F-350 with New York plates, was stopped facing north near 157 North St. when first responders arrived shortly after 5 p.m. Members of the Pittsfield Police Department crawled beneath the vehicle, freed the man, Neil Atlas, 75, trapped beneath it and transported him to Berkshire Medical Center.

Police Chief Michael Wynn said his injuries did not appear life-threatening. The driver who hit Atlas was a 15-year-old, according to Officer James McIntyre. He said the driver's name is not being released.

Because of the Third Thursday celebrations, traffic was prohibited from entering North Street at the time of the crash. But Wynn said the truck had a vendor's license.

He said vendors are allowed to keep their vehicles on North Street up until the start of the event, but are supposed to move cars before pedestrians hit the streets.

Often vendors are still setting up at the event's start, Wynn said, and are moving their vehicles too late.

"It's one of the issues we've identified," he said.

McIntyre said the truck was a company vehicle registered to Northeast Old Fashion Soda Company, of Waterford, N.Y. A large plastic container sat in the bed of the pickup.

Wynn said the assistant who was driving the truck was on scene, but officers are still trying to determine at what point they exited the vehicle.

Extra foot patrols on scene for Third Thursday made for a quick response time, Wynn said, but the event also made it difficult for emergency vehicles to get close to the crash.

McIntyre said the crash remains under investigation, and asks witnesses to contact him at 413-448-9700, ext. 579.

Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.


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