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Colrain man crashes pickup, rolls down gully

Recorder/David Rainville
A Toyota Tacoma pickup came to a rest after careening more than 75 feet down an embankment on Nashs Mill Road Tuesday afternoon.

Recorder/David Rainville A Toyota Tacoma pickup came to a rest after careening more than 75 feet down an embankment on Nashs Mill Road Tuesday afternoon.

GREENFIELD — A Colrain man was taken to the hospital after his truck careened more than 75 feet down a roadside embankment Tuesday afternoon.

At about 3:30 p.m., emergency workers were dispatched to Nashs Mill Road, for a report of a truck going over the embankment.

They found Michael Friedlander, 60, of Colrain, behind the wheel of his 2012 Toyota Tacoma pickup, which came to a rest upright after tumbling down the hill.

The vehicle ended up several yards down the steep slope at the edge of the road. A witness told police that the truck had been headed west, when it drifted across the other lane, went over the steel cable guardrail and continued down the steep hill.

“Luckily, nobody was coming the other way,” said Sgt. Stephen Westerling. “The truck hit several trees on the way down, and flipped at least once.”

The driver was conscious and breathing when emergency responders showed up, and his truck’s side-curtain airbag had deployed.

Because the truck was so far down the hill, a Stokes rescue basket was used to bring the patient safely up the hill, said Greenfield Fire Chief Robert Strahan.

Once the patient was immobilized and secured in the basket, firefighters pulled it up by rope, to a waiting ambulance. The driver was taken to Baystate Franklin Medical Center.

The man was the sole occupant of the Toyota Tacoma pickup. Police believe he may have had a medical issue that caused him to lose control of the truck Tuesday, according to Officer Jason Kratz.

Kratz said Friedlander did not sustain injuries in the crash, though he was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

David Rainville can be reached at:
drainville@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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