Second Pittsfield crash victim dies of injuries; both men identified

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PITTSFIELD -- A second victim has died in the wake of Tuesday's crash in front of Pittsfield High School, according to Pittsfield Police.

The victims were identified as Ernest Duck Jr., 37, of Pittsfield, who is believed to have been the driver of the 2013 Nissan Altima, and passenger Tariq Salley, 34, of Pittsfield.

Duck was pronounced dead shortly after the 2:50 p.m. crash; Salley died at about 10:30 p.m. at Berkshire Medical Center from undisclosed injuries, Pittsfield police Capt. David Granger said.

Duck had been on probation for driving without a license at the time of the crash, according to court records.

Police believe Duck was operating the Nissan at a high rate of speed, based on multiple witness reports and findings from the initial investigation, Granger said. "They were going at an excessive speed and went through the intersection," he said.

"There didn't appear to be any indication they tried to stop," Granger said.

The vehicle, which was heading down Second Street, sped through the East Street intersection, where it hopped a curb, flipped, struck a tree and then went airborne before slamming into a wall, according to Granger and witnesses.

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There was no evidence of skid marks, although the road conditions were wet because it was raining at the time, Granger said. He does not believe the car hydroplaned.

The car broke apart on impact, and both men had to be extricated by firefighters. Paramedics gave CPR to the victims.

Granger said police are "continuing to investigate the circumstances" regarding the crash. Police will determine an estimate of how fast the driver was going after a reconstruction of the accident is completed. The vehicle was a rental from Hertz, which had a Connecticut registration.

Police will also examine video from the school, a local doctor's office and the Registry of Motor Vehicles nearby.

Pittsfield police Capt. John Mullin said there was no evidence that the vehicle was being chased at the time of the crash.

He said results are expected by the end of the week on toxicology tests that were conducted on both victims.

No students or faculty at the school were hurt. School had dismissed about a half hour before the crash, though there were students outside at the time of the incident.

To reach Nathan Mayberg:
or (413) 496-6243


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