Chilmark police responded to a high number of motor vehicle and moped accidents over the past week, including a two-vehicle accident on Middle Road on Thursday that sent six people to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.

Chilmark police chief Timothy Rich said the accident occurred just after 10 p.m. near the intersection of Tabor House Road when a 2005 Subaru Legacy driven by seasonal resident Donald Leopold, 18, crossed the center line and collided with a 1999 Volvo Station carrying seven occupants.

Chief Rich said the high number of passengers caused emergency officials to call an MCI — a mass casualties incident. He said two Tri-Town ambulances and a third from Tisbury responded to transport six people to the hospital.

Although Mr. Leopold was placed on a backboard and fitted with a restraining collar as a precaution, none of the nine people involved in the accident sustained serious injuries.

Chief Rich said everyone was wearing safety belts, and the air bags in the Volvo deployed properly. “If you saw the pictures from the accident you would be amazed that nobody was seriously injured,” he said. Mr. Leopold was cited for speeding and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

Just after 6 p.m. Thursday, Chilmark police received a report that an approximately 400-pound dolphin had washed ashore at Lucy Vincent Beach. A natural resource officer from the Wampanoag tribe, a local veterinarian and a representative from the New England Aquarium responded to the scene to inspect the animal. In the end, they decided the best option was to humanely euthanize the animal.

Chilmark police on Wednesday responded to a serious moped accident on State Road near the intersection of Chockers Lane. It has been the scene of many accidents due to its steep slope and sharp turn at the bottom of the hill.

Chief Rich said a 47-year-old female lost control of her moped and slammed into the shoulder of the road. The woman suffered a serious laceration above the eye, and a passenger on back of the moped was also injured. The woman was brought to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital for treatment, while the male passenger refused treatment.

Thursday there was another serious moped accident in the same location. A 19-year-old female from Clifton Park, N.Y., lost control and hit her head. There were signs the woman might have suffered from a concussion: she didn’t know she was on the Vineyard and didn’t recognize some people in her group.

Chief Rich said he has contacted MassHighway about placing a sign on State Road near the curve to warn people about the danger.

Just after noon on Friday, Chilmark police responded to a single-car accident on State Road in front of the Chilmark Community Center. The driver, a seasonal visitor from Cambridge, told police he was pulling out of the Sovereign Bank parking lot in his 2000 Jeep Wrangler when he realized his vehicle’s brakes were not working.

The driver saw there pedestrians in the area and quickly understood the danger of the situation. He turned the wheels sharply and was able to stop the Jeep by running into a stone wall.

West Tisbury

West Tisbury police received a call of a stolen wallet on Thursday from a business located off Airport Road. A bank card in the wallet has since been used several times, and an investigation into the incident is continuing, police chief Beth Toomey said.

Late Saturday evening, West Tisbury police responded to a report of two males screaming at each other outside the youth hostel on West Tisbury Road. When police arrived one of the males appeared intoxicated and reported he had lost his cell phone. He was placed into protective custody and later released.

Early Sunday morning, police responded to a report of a group of people swimming at Ice House Pond. Police arrived and told the group of approximately 12 people they were not allowed to swim at the pond after dark.


Aquinnah police last Tuesday received a report that someone had fallen and hit their head at the Outermost Inn. When police arrived they found two people helping a man to his feet; officers suspected the man had consumed a large amount of alcohol and placed him into protective custody. He was later released.

On Wednesday morning, police received a report of a three-foot blue shark washing up on Philbin Beach. Chief Rhandi Belain used the department’s all-terrain vehicle to locate the shark, then got in touch with the tribe’s natural resources department. He speculated it might have been a basking shark.

On Friday, police received a report that somebody had swum out to a rock off the Gay Head Cliffs and was shouting for help. An officer directing traffic at the circle responded on the department’s all-terrain vehicle. The officer saw there were four people on the rock, yelling for friends to take a picture of them. All returned to the shore safely.