Charges are pending for 29-year-old Timothy Tatro from Pittsfield as an investigation is underway as to why he drove his van off of the road and crashed into a house on Route 7 in Williamstown. Tatro´s vehicle drove approximately 178 feet off of the road at a large curve, onto the front lawn, and into the house´s front bedroom. The crash then quickly ignited a fire in the house and Tatro was rescued before he was harmed by the fire.
The two residents of the house were home but out of harm´s way in the living room. Authorities explained that everyone involved is very fortunate, given the severity of this situation. Williamston Police Chief Kyle Johnson confirmed “There were two people in the home. I’m told they were both away in the living room when the car hit, and I think it jolted one of them out of their seat.”
Donna Sampson, a neighbor who witnessed the house catching on fire explained that the house was quickly engulfed in flames after the car hit the house. She said that the accidents on this road are usually coming from the opposite direction of the curve, whereas this vehicle was heading southbound.
Although the cause of this crash is still under investigation, given the circumstances, distracted driving could have played a role in this one-car accident. Distraction.gov, the Official US Government Website for Distracted Driving, reports that in 2009, approximately 448,000 were injured in car accidents due to distracted driving, meaning that 20% of all injury crashes involved distracted driving.
Distractions that can inhibit driver ability are:
• Talking on a cell phone (even if it is hands-free)
• Texting • Eating or drinking • Talking with passengers • Grooming • Reading (including maps)
• Using a PDA or navigation system • Watching a video • Changing the music or radio station
If you have been involved in a Massachusetts car accident or your personal property has been damaged due to a car accident, it is in your best interest to contact a Massachusetts car accident lawyer.
Car crashes into home, bursts into flames, WNYT/CNN, May 18, 2011