Fatal crash investigation continues

GREENFIELD — The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office continues to investigate what caused the single-car motor vehicle accident that killed a 56-year-old Greenfield man this weekend.

Spokeswoman Mary Carey said that state police assigned to the district attorney’s office were working on the case with local police and a state police team that analyzes fatal crashes. There were no updates available Monday.

Robert E. Sweeney, of 355 Conway Street, was pronounced dead at the scene Saturday morning. His 1999 Chevrolet Tracker rolled over in the southbound lane of Interstate 91, near exit 24 in Whately. Sweeney was trapped in the vehicle when responders arrived.

Sweeney worked for the past year as a technician and assistant for My Guardian Angel, a Colrain-based company that installs medical alert systems, said owner Mo Grossberger.

“The world lost a terrific person,” said Grossberger. “(He was a) very gentle man, very jovial. He laughed all the time.”

Sweeney, who lived with his wife Jolanta Sweeney in Greenfield, was a “jack of all trades,” said Grossberger. He had an eclectic collection of past jobs and was interested in Web design and music.

It could take months before state police are able to determine what caused the Saturday morning accident.

State police officers from Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Sections (C.A.R.S.) were among those who responded to the 8 a.m. crash, which shut down the highway’s southbound lanes for about 31/2 hours.

After C.A.R.S. responded to an accident in 2012, officers from that unit told The Recorder that investigations can sometimes take as long as three months to complete.

C.A.R.S. officers use a surveying instrument at the scene to record data points, which are then entered into a computer. Officers can then digitally recreate the scene using computer-aided design software.

Using physics formulas, even small details like skid marks on a road can help tell the story of how an accident occurred.

You can reach Chris Shores at: cshores@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 264

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