- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) - Both occupants of a car that witnesses say sped through an intersection and flew through the air before crashing into a concrete wall outside Pittsfield High School have died, police said Wednesday.

No students or staff members were injured in the crash just before 3 p.m. Tuesday, about a half-hour after school got out. Had the crash occurred during dismissal, dozens of cars and hundreds of students would have been in the area, authorities said.

“It’s a miracle no other kids or vehicles were involved,” Mayor Daniel Bianchi said.

The men in the car have been identified as Ernest Duck Jr., 37, and Tariq Salley, 34, both of Pittsfield. Duck, thought to be the driver, died shortly after the crash, while Salley died several hours later at the hospital, police said. The car was a rented 2013 Nissan Altima with Connecticut registration.

Exactly what happened remains under investigation, police said.

Police think the vehicle was traveling erratically and at a high rate of speed, based on multiple witness reports and findings from the initial investigation, Capt. David Granger told The Berkshire Eagle (https://bit.ly/1b3nZBg ).

“There didn’t appear to be any indication they tried to stop,” he said. The posted speed limit in the area is 25 mph.

The car broke apart on impact, and both men had to be extricated from the wreckage by firefighters.

Student Katherine Mortensen saw the car cross four lanes of traffic without attempting to turn at an intersection, jump the curb, strike a tree and turn 360 degrees in the air before slamming into the stone wall in front of the school.

“It’s like they wanted to kill themselves,” she said.


Information from: The Berkshire (Mass.) Eagle, https://www.berkshireeagle.com

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