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One taken to hospital following head-on collision in Leyden

  • Leyden and Bernardston fire departments tend to an accident on Greenfield Road in Leyden, Friday night. Recorder Staff/Shelby Ashline

  • Leyden and Bernardston fire departments tend to an accident on Greenfield Road in Leyden, Friday night. Recorder Staff/Shelby Ashline



Recorder Staff
Saturday, January 06, 2018

LEYDEN — A head-on collision near 146 Greenfield Road Friday night resulted in a woman being transported to Baystate Franklin Medical Center and a driver facing charges.

The accident, which involved a Jeep driven by Leyden resident Brittany Brooks and a Ford Fusion driven by Barbara Gillman of Fort Lee, N.J., occurred just before 9 p.m.

“It looks like the New Jersey vehicle crossed over the center line and hit the Jeep, head-on,” said Leyden Police Captain Gilda Galvis. Brooks was driving north while Gillman was driving south down the hill.

Gillman and Brooks were uninjured, Galvis said, though a passenger in the Jeep was transported by MedCare for chest pain and shortness of breath, which Galvis suspects resulted from airbag deployment.

Once everyone had gotten out of the vehicles, Leyden Police Chief Daniel Galvis said the Jeep’s battery started a fire. Flames quickly engulfed the vehicle, but caused no injuries.

Firefighters from both the Leyden and Bernardston fire departments responded, putting out the fire by spraying foam.

Daniel Galvis said Gillman had a conflicting story, that the Jeep was in her lane. But given the tracks, the position of the vehicles, and that the Jeep had been pushed off the road into the snowbank, the Galvises disagreed.

“She was distracted by her GPS,” Gilda Galvis continued, saying that Gillman was trying to find Angels’ Rest Retreat Center. “And I think speed was a factor. You can’t be going that fast in these road conditions.”

When reached by phone Saturday, Daniel Galvis said Gillman is being charged with failure to keep right, impeded operation and negligent operation. The first two offenses are civil fines, while Gillman will be summoned to court on the negligent operation charge, he said.

Until both cars were towed away, the accident held up traffic on Greenfield Road, including a series of Eversource trucks responding to a fallen power line on George Lamb Road.

“Sergeant (Tina) Riddell, she’s been out since 4 p.m. with trees down and cars off the road,” Gilda Galvis said Friday.

Daniel Galvis said he and the Selectboard declared a state of emergency in Leyden on Saturday morning, as the Highway Department was having trouble keeping up with road maintenance, particularly the snow drifts.

“People should stay home,” he said simply.