1 seriously injured in head-on collision.


Byline: King Ring

EAST BROOKFIELD - The driver of a car that crashed in Hardwick late Wednesday night was arraigned yesterday on charges of drunken driving, a marked lanes violation, driving negligently, driving under the influence causing an accident with serious bodily injury and malicious destruction of state property.

Robert M. Hatch, 19, of 5 High Street, Hubbardston, was released on $1,000 bail after his arraignment.

Hardwick Police Cpl. Kevin M. Landine said Mr. Hatch was allegedly driving a 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt registered to Rodney Witkos III, 21, of the Wheelwright section of Hardwick who was a passenger in the car, when the vehicle crossed the center line on Route 32 (Lower Road) not far from the St. Aloysius Cemetery.

Court documents indicate that Mr. Hatch tried to steer back into the right lane, struck a guardrail damaging 15 of the metal panels, spun around and stopped in the center of the roadway where the Cobalt was hit head-on by a Ford Escort driven by the town's former fire chief, Robert Goodfield. Mr. Goodfield's wife, Joanne Goodfield, was a passenger in his car.

Police said because of the heavy front-end damage to the Cobalt, it was nearly impossible to see it on the dark stretch of road, which likely contributed to the crash.

Mr. Witkos was seriously injured in the accident and was transferred from Baystate Mary Lane Hospital in Ware to the University of Massachusetts Medical Center - University Campus in Worcester. Police said in...

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