DA: Junior operator involved in crash that killed Leverett man

  • The crash on Amherst Street (Rt. 116) on the south side of the Notch at the South Hadley/Granby town line that claimed the life of Parmatma S. Khalsa, 44, of Leverett on Nov. 21, 2019.  GAZETTE FILE PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 12/4/2019 9:53:26 PM

SOUTH HADLEY — A teenage driver was involved in the two-car crash Nov. 21 that claimed the life of the other driver, Leverett resident Parmatma S. Khalsa, 44, a third-grade teacher at Mosier Elementary School in South Hadley, according to the Northwestern district attorney’s office.

But Mary Carey, spokeswoman for the office, said Wednesday that any other information about the junior operator driving the second vehicle, as well as more details about the crash, is not being released. Junior operators are drivers between the age of 16½ and 18 and are subject to various driving restrictions under state law.

“We generally do not release any identifying information about the other driver involved unless or until the decision whether criminal charges should be pursued has been made,” Carey said.

The crash occurred at 7:22 a.m. on Route 116 near the Notch on a day when roads may have briefly iced over as the sun rose. Two crashes in South Amherst that morning, in which vehicles went off Bay Road and West Pomeroy Lane, were blamed on black ice.

Carey said the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section’s investigation will likely take several months before any decisions are made on whether charges might be filed.

Those who knew Khalsa are continuing to honor his memory. On Friday at 6 p.m. at The Taproom, 1 Mill Valley Road, Hadley, The Center dance studio in Amherst will hold a memorial fundraiser to support Khalsa’s wife, Jai Fuller, and their two young children.

The event comes in advance of this year’s performance of “A 21st Century Nutcracker” on the afternoon of Dec. 15. Khalsa previously performed as Drosselmeyer in that production.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

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