Man facing OUI charge after pedestrian struck by car in Dalton

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PITTSFIELD — A Plainfield man is accused of being intoxicated behind the wheel when he allegedly struck a pedestrian crossing Main Street in Dalton on Tuesday evening.

Derek J. Talbot, 21, was released on personal recognizance following his arraignment Wednesday in Central Berkshire District Court. He must remain drug- and alcohol-free and submit to random screenings while on pretrial probation.

Police say Talbot struck Sean Labonte, of Dalton, leaving him with head trauma and a fractured skull. Labonte, 41, was taken to Berkshire Medical Center and later transferred to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.

He is expected to recover, according to Dalton Police Chief Jeffrey E. Coe.

Around 5:40 p.m. Tuesday, Dalton police were dispatched to Main Street near River Street, where they found Talbot's 2016 VW Jetta with its windshield smashed in the westbound lane. Labonte was lying on the ground in front of Talbot's vehicle when police arrived.

Talbot, who police said was exhibiting signs of intoxication, said he was coming from Plainfield and on his way to Hot Harry's to get a burrito when, "out of nowhere," a man stepped into the crosswalk. Talbot said he slammed on his brakes and attempted to swerve and avoid the collision, but had no time to do so.

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Talbot told police he had one beer about an hour prior to the collision.

Police had Talbot perform a series of field sobriety tests, which they said showed he was impaired. A portable breath test administered by police showed a blood alcohol concentration of .157, nearly twice the legal limit of .08.

Talbot appeared before Judge Jennifer Tyne on Wednesday and entered not guilty pleas to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of liquor causing serious injury and negligent operation, speeding and a crosswalk violation.

Police said witnesses estimated Talbot's speed at between 40 to 45 mph in the posted 30 mph zone.

Talbot is due back in court April 24 for a pretrial hearing. If convicted on the OUI charge, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

Eagle reporter Dick Lindsey contributed to this story.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@berkshireeagle.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.


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