PITTSFIELD, Mass (WGGB) — Pittsfield Police are continuing to investigate a horrific crash after a car slammed into Pittsfield High School Tuesday afternoon. One man was killed, another critically injured in the accident.
Mangled wreckage of what was once a Nissan Altima was dragged onto a tow truck late in the afternoon. It was hardly recognizable and all that was left after it allegedly sped down Second Street, across East Street, violently crashed into a tree, went airborne, and hit a wall in front of Pittsfield High School. Witnesses were left stunned.
“I poked my head around the corner. You could see the car coming through the intersection, God knows how fast,” witness Michael Hicks said. “And my view was up to when it hit this tree.”
“I saw it fly into the wall,” Justin Lee added. “My first initial reaction was ‘they pull pranks like this.’ I thought it was fake.”
“You could tell, you know, it was bad,” Hicks said. “Half the roof was ripped off. It was impacted into the wall.”
Police say both the man who died and the man battling life-threatening injuries at Berkshire Medical Center were adults from Pittsfield. The 2013 Altima they were in was a rental that was seen speeding up to 80-100 MPH through red lights and stop signs on Second Street moments before the crash. Detectives now are investigating why.
“It’s a one car accident,” Sgt. Mark Trapani said. “No other contributing factors besides the operation of this one car at this point.”
Police say with high school dismissal, East Street is packed with hundreds of students, parents, and cars from 2:00 PM until 2:20 PM. The crash happened around 2:45 PM, leaving many grateful that a terrible accident wasn’t made catastrophic.
“An act of God,” Hicks said. “I’m not a religious person but someone was watching out to the point where there were no kids here.”
“At this point it’s a miracle that only two people were injured in it,” Sgt. Trapani said.
Trapani added that the crash is under investigation. Among the issues investigators will look at are if the driver suffered a medical emergency, was under the influence of anything, was driving while distracted, or if there was any malfunction with the vehicle.
The names and ages of the men have not been released, pending notification of next of kin.
Police add that while some students were witnesses to the crash, no students were actually involved in the incident.