NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A County Ambulance Chaircar Service van crashed through the corner of one house and into another on State Road early Friday afternoon after the driver fell unconscious.
"Apparently the driver had some type of medical episode and slumped over and the vehicle proceeded to drive right off the road," Police Director Michael Cozzagio said. "The driver was pulled out of the van, CPR was in progress and they are transporting him to the hospital, unknown on his condition."
There was one passenger in the van in a wheelchair who was being taken to a medical appointment. The passenger had been strapped in securely but was shaken up, Cozzaglio said, and also was taken to the hospital as a precaution.
"He appeared to be OK but he was shaken up having just had a conversation with the driver, he witnessed the event," he said. "The driver suddenly slumped over and the accident occurred."
There were occupants in the two houses but no one else was injured.
The Ford van was heading east at about 12:35 p.m. when it appears to have jumped the curb near Grant Street; tire tracks could be seen in the grass as it crossed several lawns and plowed into the east corner of 284 State Road, then through a simple fence and came to rest on the corner of 282 State Road.
Both single-family homes incurred damage, but 284 State suffered the worst. The east column of an enclosed porched was ripped out and the entire enclosure, including the front door, pulled away from the main building.
Building Inspector William Meranti inspected the building and found no further damage to the main structure. Fire Director Stephen Meranti said the power had been turned off but an electrician was hand to restore it so the homeowners could stay.
The house at 282 State appeared to have minimal damage to the west corner of an enclosed porch although several concrete blocks in the foundation were pushed in.
The State Road accident came on the heels of two other more minor accidents, one at River and Canal and another on Church Street, all within 20 minutes or so.
State Road was reduced to the westbound lane for about an hour. The van was towed by Mohawk Auto Wrecking.
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