WESTFIELD MAGISTRATE RULES NO BASIS TO MOVE FORWARD IN NILAN HIT-AND-RUN CASE … plus … PLANET PRESENTS FIRST-EVER PHOTOS OF THE VEHICLE … and … NEW INFORMATION
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2012) — Apparently, Meredith Nilan walks — no harm, no foul. We say apparently because, as of yet, there’s been no official announcement in the case, only Meredith Nilan’s lawyer, Tim Shugrue, saying that Nathan Byrnes, assistant clerk magistrate from Westfield District court, found no probable cause for continuing the hit-and-run case against the woman. Pittsfield police would not comment.
This, the latest episode in “Father Knows Best,” will do little to build the perception that all is on the up-and-up or to restore people’s faith in the judicial system. THE PLANET was the only media outlet letting you know that the hearing was conducted last Thursday, under the cloak of secrecy. We wonder: If Ms. Nilan is the daughter of Joe and Mary Jane Kapanski, does she get this speedy a hearing, out of town, in secrecy, with no media or public witness present, to determine what happened?
First-Ever Photos of the Impacted Nilan Vehicle
Just prior to the magistrate’s ruling, THE PLANET heard from sources close to the events involving the accident that severely injured Peter Moore. First, we present photos of the vehicle Ms. Nilan was allegedly driving. They clearly show a head-sized hole in the windshield and heavy damage to the front hood and end.
We also present a photo of the blood-stained area on the side of the road, at 6 Winesap Road, where the incident appears to have occurred. Then, we show a more overall view, showing the blood stain in relation to the location. From the photo at left, and below, it becomes clear that it was no dog that she hit.
Significant force is needed for an object to smash through the safety-plated glass of a car’s front windshield.
In the photo below, you can see the impact of the body of the hood of the car. Also, it appears as if the grille is missing. Again, this would require substantial force and speed from the vehicle.
From our sources: According to the Pittsfield Police Department “Motor Vehicle Crash Police Report,” filed by Clifford Nilan, owner of the vehicle, the point of contact where the vehicle hit Moore was listed as 52 Winesap Road. This is just south of the intersection of East and Macintosh Drive, where Moore lives.
“A thorough search of the area, however, revealed no evidence of a collision, such as debris or vehicle parts,” sources say. “In front of 6 Winesap Road, though, a search revealed a large blood stain (see photo) and splatter in the southbound lane. Frozen in the blood was a tuft of dog hair. Moore was jogging with his dog when he was hit.
“The blood splatter indicated that Moore’s heas was to the south and his feet were pointing north. Blood droppings could be followed from this location .375 miles to Moore’s home at 101 Macintosh Drive.
“A resident at 17 Winesap Road reports hearing what sounded like ‘a large truck hitting a large hole’ at 8:15 p.m. on Dec. 8, but he did not investigate. At 10:30 p.m., Dec. 8, Cliff Nilan called the Pittsfield Police Department to report that his daughter, Meredith, had struck ‘something’ while driving his vehicle in the area of 52 Winesap Road. This initial report, sources say, was amended sometime later to indicate that the object struck was a pedestrian, Peter Moore.”
Sources say that n Friday, Dec. 9, at 11:30 a.m., “Ms. Nilan went to the police to give a statement regarding the incident. She said she hit something around 9 p.m. the prior evening, but she did not know what she struck. She said she believed it to be a dog or a deer.” She told police, sources say, that she immediately stopped her vehicle to look around, but saw nothing in the area. She said she then returned home to notify her father. At that time, sources say, both she and her father returned to the area and again found nothing. They went home and notified the police.
Source: ‘It Would Appear … that the Nilans’ Interpretation of the Incident was Incorrect’
Sources: “It would appear, from this information, that the Nilans’ interpretation of the incident was incorrect. Both the victim, Moore, and a witness place the time of occurrence at approximately 8:15 p.m. The PPD placed the location at 6 Winesap Road. Had Ms. Nilan stopped and searched, as she said, would she not have seen the victim in the street, especially if she did in fact turn around to return home?”
It’s hard to reconcile this information discrepancy. One source puts it this way: “She would have run [Peter Moore] over as he lay unconscious in the southbound lane of Winesap Road.”
Prior to the collision, Ms. Nilan had attended a “Happy Hour” of Berkshire Young Professionals. Did she consume alcohol? It would appear likely. How much? That is not known. Sources familiar with the BYP gatherings say that little “networking” occurs, and that the gatherings “are an excuse” for young professionals to “drink their brains out.” Again, we do not know for certain if Ms. Nilan was drinking. That would seem likely to a high degree of probable certainty.
THE PLANET also has uncovered information that, while hearsay, does appear to have a basis in fact. Sources say that on the night of Dec. 8, the Pittsfield Courts were having a holiday gathering at Patrick’s Pub on Bank Row. A Patrick’s source confirmed that much. Sources say sometime between 8:30 and 9 p.m., Meredith Nilan entered Patrick’s “and was overheard telling her father that she had just hit someone with her car.” Sources claim Clifford Nilan then called attorney Tim Shugrue before calling police. We haven’t been able to confirm this information.
A police source (not from the area) says, “After an initial reluctance on the part of the Pittsfield Police Department, a most commendable investigation was undertaken. After it was determined that a person, not a dog or a deer was struck, two detectives were assigned to the case. They obtained a search and seizure warrant from the vehicle, which were matched to the victim.”
As we know, Ms. Nilan was charged, and the Westfield clerk magistrate found no basis for the case to continue. A police source says that there “may be” an ongoing investigation “to determine as to any criminal involvement on the part of Clifford Nilan.” To date, Clifford Nilan has not been charged in connection with the incident.
For now, it is up to the perception of the public to decide if justice has been served in this case.
IT’S INTERESTING, AS WE ALL KNOW, LIFE ON THIS THIRD STONE FROM THE SUN, AND WE DO OUR BEST IN MOVING FORWARD.
“OPEN THE WINDOWS, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.