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Northampton police investigate two accidents involving pedestrians; latest victim in critical condition

Police crews reconstruct an  accident on 5 and 10 in Northampton Monday morning. The circles represent different pieces of evidence found on the scene.

Police crews reconstruct an accident on 5 and 10 in Northampton Monday morning. The circles represent different pieces of evidence found on the scene. Purchase photo reprints »

Police continued to investigate late Monday morning at the accident scene, where the northbound lane of Route 10 was shut down near the Easthampton and Northampton city lines.

Police said Paul T. Gillis of 51 Village Hill Road may have wandered into the road when he was struck about 7 p.m. by a vehicle driven by Jaime Santos, 62, of 17 Ballard St. in Easthampton. No charges were filed against Santos, who was interviewed at the accident scene Sunday night, police said.

Before the accident, police were en route to Wayside Auto at 376 Easthampton Road to investigate a report of a break-in at a vacant building, said Northampton Police Capt. Scott Savino. He said employees of the business had reported seeing a white man with a white bag leaving the property. Police said they suspect Gillis was involved with that incident.

“We believe Mr. Gillis was responsible for the break-in,” said Savino. He said a preliminary investigation shows Gillis appears to have left the building and wandered out into Easthampton Road.

Savino said Northampton police are familiar with Gillis. He has been in court in recent years facing motor vehicle, drug and other charges resulting from incidents in Northampton and Hadley, according to Gazette reports.

New South Street accident

Also Monday, Northampton police said they are working with the Northwestern district attorney’s office to investigate another serious accident in which the driver of a truck struck a pedestrian in a crosswalk on New South Street late Wednesday afternoon.

“We have been working closely with the police ever since to gather and review all of the evidence needed in order to make the appropriate decision whether criminal charges will issue,” First Assistant District Attorney Steven E. Gagne said in a statement issued Monday.

Police said Pallav K. Parakh, 35, of 6 Bridge St. in Hatfield, was crossing New South Street in a crosswalk near the west entrance of Pulaski Park at around 4:40 p.m. when he was struck by a truck driven by Derek J. Graves, of 174 East St. in Chesterfield.

Parakh, who is a doctor at Baystate Medical Practices Greenfield Gastroenterology, was taken by ambulance to Baystate Medical Center with a head injury. A hospital spokesman said the medical center had no information on Parakh.

Dan Crowley can be reached at dcrowley@gazettenet.com.

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