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Massena man jailed on $100K bail on vehicular assault charge

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MASSENA - A Massena man has been jailed on $100,000 cash bail on a vehicular assault charges after striking a pedestrian crossing East Orvis Street shortly before 9 p.m. Friday.

Village police said James A. Berry, 21, of 36 Park Ave., Massena, struck Edward S. Remington, 46, of East Orvis Street, Massena, at 8:48 p.m. on East Orvis Street near Woody’s General Store. The pedestrian suffered serious physical injuries and was transported by Massena Rescue to Massena Memorial Hospital before being shipped to the Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vt.

Court documents report Remington of 155 East Orvis St., Apt. 9, suffered multiple skull fractures and internal injuries, bleeding in his cranial cavity and several other fractures.

Berry was also charged by village police with a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated. They said a blood sample was taken so his blood alcohol content was not available Saturday.

Ptl. Cody Wilson, in a statement included in court documents, said Berry refused to give or sign a statement but admitted he had consumed a LaBatt’s Blue Light tall boy and two Bud Light Platinums earlier in the evening.

He wasarraigned Saturday morning by Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow and after consultation with St. Lawrence County Assistant District Attorney Andrew T. Botts bail was set at $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond.

Mr. Remington’s girlfriend, Kimberly Tassie, said the couple were returning home after a quick trip to Woody’s Store to buy soda when the accident when the accident occurred. She said she was ahead of Mr. Remington when a truck “came out of nowhere,” struck her boyfriend, threw him in the air and then ran over him. She said the driver of the 1993 Chevy pickup stopped and backed up, running over her boyfriend a second time.

Michael Hart told police he was driving on East Orvis Street and witnessed the accident. He said he saw the truck hit a person and then drag the person for 15 to 20 feet. Mr. Hart told police he then believed the driver was attempting to leave the scene of the accident so he blocked his truck so he could not get away from the accident scene. Mr. Hart also said he noticed an oxygen tank leaking in the roadway.

Ms. Weegar told police she had been looking down at her phone and didn’t witness the accident but she saw something fly up and then saw a man lying in the street and the man’s oxygen tank. She said her boyfriend, whom she referred to as Alex, was told to move his truck and then turn it off so it didn’t cause the leaking oxygen tank to explode.

She also told police she hadn’t seen her boyfriend drinking or taking any drugs Friday evening and noted he was enrolled in a chemical dependency program. Ptl. Wilson’s statement indicated Berry told him he had taken his prescribed anxiety medication at 12:30 p.m. Friday.

Village police had charged Berry with driving while ability impaired by drugs and reckless driving at 8:44 p.m. May 22 after his vehicle was located in the Burger King parking lot in the Harte Haven Shopping Center. Police said they had received several complaints that, starting from Park Avenue at Center Street, that Berry’s vehicle was driving on curbs and running red lights as he drove from Center Street to East Hatfield Street. They said Berry fell several times while he was at the police station and his behavior after that incident led them to contact Massena Rescue and have him transported to Massena Memorial Hospital for evaluation and treatment.

A portion of East Orvis Street was closed for several hours Friday night while village police conducted their investigation. Massena Fire also responded to the accident scene.

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