Pittsfield toughens vendor rules in wake of Third Thursday mishap

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PITTSFIELD — Vendors at the Third Thursday festival will no longer be permitted to move their vehicles after 5 p.m., Mayor Linda Tyer said on Friday.

The crackdown comes a day after a Lenox man was hit and pinned by a vendor's truck moments after the start of the season's first Third Thursday event.

Neil Atlas, 75, of Lenox, was walking on North Street near Columbus Avenue about 5:07 p.m. Thursday — after the road had been closed by police — when he was struck by a pickup that was "rolling forward," according to Pittsfield police Officer James McIntyre. A 15-year-old was behind the wheel of the truck, which was registered to Northeast Old Fashion Soda Co., of Waterford, N.Y.

Atlas had to be extricated from beneath the vehicle, and was transported to Berkshire Medical Center. Police Chief Michael Wynn said the injuries did not appear life-threatening.

Following the crash, the festival continued as planned.

Tyer said city staff reached out to vendors on Friday to remind them that they must be set up by 5 p.m. She said those who fail to move their vehicles by that time will have to leave them there until the event ends at 8 p.m., after which the total street closure will no longer be in effect.

"We are grateful for the quick response from Pittsfield police, fire, and EMS, who provided crucial support during yesterday's incident," Tyer said in her statement on Friday. "Third Thursday is one of Pittsfield's signature events that many look forward to each year, and we want festival goers to focus their attention on all there is to enjoy."

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

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