Two Killed on Roads in ‘Hamp

Source: Union-News (Springfield, MA)


GOSHEN, MA – Traffic accidents in Hampshire County have claimed two lives so far this holiday weekend.

The wife of a University of Massachusetts teaching assistant was killed yesterday afternoon when the car in which she was a passenger swerved into the opposite lane and collided with a pickup truck at Main and Salem streets in Amherst, police said.

And in Goshen, Robert P. Otis, 41, of Main Street, Ashfield, was killed at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday when the car he was driving slid into a tree, police said. The one-car crash occurred at the bottom of a hill on Route 9 about one mile west of Williamsburg, state Trooper Darlene DeCaire said.

She said a passer-by called the Goshen Fire Department, which sent an ambulance and summoned state police. Otis was taken to The Cooley Dickinson Hospital where he was pronounced dead, she said.

In Amherst, Jie Sun of G28 North Village, on the UMass campus, was killed in an accident that occurred at about 12:15 p.m. yesterday.

Sun was the wife of Daming Shi, 42, of the same address, who was driving the car, Sgt. John Wroblewski said.

He said police were unsure of Sun’s age. She died at the scene, he said.

Shi was being evaluated in the emergency room last night at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, a nursing supervisor said. Sgt. Scott Livingstone said earlier yesterday that Shi appeared to have serious injuries.

Shi is a teaching assistant and graduate student in the UMass economics department, said Rick Edwards, an economics professor at UMass who said he knew Shi, but not well.

The accident occurred on a slippery road covered with slush and ice. Shi was driving a Honda east on Main Street when he apparently lost control of the car, and it slid broadside into the path of a pickup truck that was heading west, police said. After the collision the impact carried the Honda into a utility pole, Livingstone said.

The truck was driven by Arthur Sweeney, 22, of Pitt Street, North Adams, who was uninjured, Livingstone said.

Police are investigating the accident with the help of the state police accident reconstruction team. But Livingstone said he expected no citations would be issued.

Shi came to the United States three years ago from Beijing, China, where he either taught or attended school, said Herbert Gintis, director of the graduate program for the UMass economics department. “He went through the Cultural Revolution, and I think he was farmed out and persecuted as an intellectual. I don’t know what to say. I hope he’s OK,” Gintis said.

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