|Crash at Mount Greylock Entrance Highlights Long-Standing Concern|
|By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff|
04:40AM / Friday, September 09, 2022
|Reader Janice Loux submitted this photo taken at the crash scene on Wednesday.|
The collision at the entrance of the high school has again raised safety concerns about speed and low visibility, especially regarding younger drivers.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A crash at the entrance of the Mount Greylock Regional School campus Wednesday sent one person to the hospital and had the school community thinking about the potential danger of the driveway's access to U.S. Route 7.
At about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Williamstown Police received a call about a two-car accident at 1781 Cold Spring Road, the entrance to the middle-high school.
Rebecca Lee Williams of Williamstown was brought to Berkshire Medical Center complaining of neck pains after the accident according to a police report from police Detective Kalvin Dziedziak.
According to the report, Gerald Leslie Mortensen of Pittsfield was driving south on Route 7, also known as Cold Spring Road, when a vehicle driven by Williams pulled out of the school's driveway in front of Mortensen.
Mortensen told police that he attempted to brake and steer away but was unsuccessful, the report reads.
"As a result, [Mortensen's vehicle] made contact with [Williams' vehicle] in the southbound lane of Cold Spring Road," the report reads. "[Mortensen's vehicle] proceeded to push [Williams' vehicle] into the northbound lane of Cold Spring Road as it drove off the roadway and onto a grass embankment."
Both cars were damaged in the collision, according to the report. Dziedziak said Williams was found at fault for the accident.
Shortly after the vehicles were cleared from the scene, Mount Greylock Regional School District Superintendent Jason McCandless said the district continues to reach out to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation about ways to calm traffic at the intersection, which comes at the crest of a hill with limited visibility in both directions for drivers leaving the campus.
"The challenge is that the intersection meets all the legal requirements," McCandless said. "Of course, and today is a sad example, we remain very concerned.
"Probably three out of four people who use the driveway on a daily basis is within their first year or first three years as a driver."
The intersection has been a topic of conversation for the School Committee
as well as community members for years.
McCandless said the district's last conversation with MassDOT indicated that, statistically, the intersection has not been prone to accidents over the years.
"For us, one accident is one too many," McCandless said.
He said he did not know whether MassDOT's calculations for what makes an intersection safe takes into account the age and experience of a typical driver using the route.
McCandless said that without checking his records, he would say his last discussion with state highway officials was either last winter or in the early spring.
"To their credit, they are very responsive, both at the regional and state level," McCandless said. "The intersection meets the standards that they have."