Great Barrington –– Police have charged a local man with operating under the influence of drugs after he crashed in front of the police station and caused serious injuries.
On October 27 at 2 p.m. Officers Samuel Stolzar and Joseph O’Brien responded to a 2-vehicle accident in front of the police station. Upon arrival they observed a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck in the northbound lane with heavy front end damage. A Volkswagen SUV was in the intersection of Routes 7 and 23. The subject in the SUV, John Wiltshire of Sheffield, stated that he had been stopped for a red light when rear ended by the pickup. A video of the accident showed the pickup striking Wiltshire at a high speed without braking or slowing. The pickup operator was identified as David Ruddy of Great Barrington.
Ruddy had some minor injuries and was confused, disoriented and in a stupor. He was unable to tell officers what happened. Officer Stolzar noticed a can of computer duster on the ground outside his truck which appeared to have fallen from the door. Five more cans of this substance were located on the passenger’s seat. Both parties were transported to different hospitals by Southern Berkshire Volunteer Ambulance.
Based upon his training and experience Stolzar found Ruddy’s behavior was consistent with effects from the computer duster and issued him a citation for (1) operating under the influence of drugs and (2) negligent operation of a motor vehicle. Stolzar also filed with the registry an immediate threat license suspension request.
The Great Barrington Fire Department assisted at the scene as well the Sheffield and Egremont police departments.