West Stockbridge woman accused in fatal OUI crash out on personal recognizance

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GREAT BARRINGTON — The woman accused of driving while drunk and causing the crash that killed a Pittsfield man in December has been ordered not to drive and to submit to random drug and alcohol screenings.

Michelle S. Curletti, 42, of West Stockbridge, is accused of driving under the influence of alcohol Dec. 11 when her BMW swerved across the center lane on Route 7 and struck a Toyota SUV, according to Stockbridge police. A passenger in that vehicle, Francis Kesse, 33, died of his injuries early the next day at Berkshire Medical Center.

Curletti and three of Kesse's co-workers from Hillcrest Educational Centers' Brookside Intensive Treatment Center in Great Barrington were treated at the hospital for injuries.

Curletti is on administrative leave from her position as the area program manager for the state Department of Children and Families office in Pittsfield.

She pleaded not guilty in Southern Berkshire District Court on Monday to charges of vehicular homicide while operating under the influence, OUI causing serious bodily injury and negligent operation, and a civil complaint of a marked-lanes violation.

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Judge William Rota released her on personal recognizance with the conditions that she not drive, obey all local and federal state laws and remain drug-free. He set a pretrial date for April 4.

A potential indictment is being reviewed by the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, according to a spokesman. Curletti is represented by attorney Lori Levinson.

According to Massachusetts state law, a motorist convicted on a charge of homicide by motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol could be sentenced to state prison for two and a half years up to 15 years and fined up to $5,000, or imprisoned in a jail or house of correction for one to two and a half years, also with a fine of up to $5,000.

The charge of causing serious bodily injury by motor vehicle while under influence of an intoxicating substance — in this case, alcohol — carries a potential sentence of at least six months to be served in a county jail.

Staff writer Heather Bellow contributed to this report.

Clarence Fanto can be reached at cfanto@yahoo.com, on Twitter @BE_cfanto or at 413-637-2551.


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