Police connect SUV to hit-and-run accident

Wednesday January 11, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Police say they have connected an SUV owned by the county's chief probation officer and driven by his daughter to a hit-and-run accident last month that seriously injured a man jogging with his dog on a city road.

Police believe Meredith Nilan was heading north in her father Clifford Nilan's 2001 Subaru Forester on Winesap Road the evening of Dec. 8 when she swerved into the southbound lane and struck Peter Moore, who was headed north, according to a Pittsfield Police accident report.

"We have a driver, we have a victim and we have a vehicle," said Pittsfield Police Capt. John Mullin.

A criminal citation for two misdemeanors -- leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and negligent operation of a motor vehicle -- were lodged against Meredith Nilan in District Court.

The case will go before a clerk magistrate for a show-cause hearing to determine if there's enough evidence to charge Meredith Nilan. If no probable cause is found, the charges would be dismissed. If probable cause is found, a court arraignment would take place. The hearing date, as well as the hearing itself, is not public information.

Nilan's and Moore's accounts of where and when the accident took place on Winesap Road differed, but police determined Moore's description of the accident site was correct. Police used a search warrant to inspect the car during their investigation.

About 8:15 p.m. on Dec. 8, Peter Moore was hit by a car while jogging with his dog on Winesap Road near East Street. He suffered a fractured calf bone and a broken vertebrae, a bruised colon, trauma to the left side of his body, a concussion, and abrasions "from head to toe."

Meredith Nilan told police she was on her way to meet her boyfriend for dinner about 9 p.m., when she hit either a dog or deer near the intersection of Winesap Road and McIntosh Drive.

Her attorney, Timothy J. Shugrue, said on Friday that she isn't sure what she hit and that she went back to the site with her father, but they couldn't find any evidence of what she may have hit. Clifford Nilan later called police to report the accident.

The intersection where Meredith Nilan told police she struck something is south of where police say they found a large amount of blood and dog fur and where Moore said he was struck by a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. Moore was unable to give a description of the vehicle that hit him.

Moore walked home and went to bed without reporting what happened. Early the next morning, he went to Berkshire Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries and released nearly a week later.


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