West Stockbridge, MA Tornado, Aug 1973


West Stockbridge, Mass. (UPI) -- A tornado tore through this resort and farming community Tuesday, killing four persons and ripping several homes and buildings to pieces. At least 43 persons were hurt, including two critically.
Three of the dead were trapped in a small roadside restaurant destroyed by the rare twister, the first tornado to cause death in Massachusetts in 20 years. The fourth person killed was a man in a house two miles away, which also was destroyed.
The tornado jerked trees out of the ground, tore down power line and wrecked at least 10 houses in the West Stockbridge area.
JOHN A. PONS, 56, of West Stockbridge, said he was looking through a window in the Berkshire Truck Plaza, where three persons were killed, when he saw the sky darken.
"I said, 'My God, it's a tornado! Get under the desk!'
My daughter was half under when it hit. I hit the floor. My daughter was yelling, 'My leg, my leg!' and I pulled the cinder blocks off her. I picked her up and carried her out front where my car had been parked. But it was gon," PONS said.
Another witness at the diner, FRED GALITI, 35, a college professor, said he saw his friend LOUIS PASQUALE, 28, a student from New York City, crushed by a wall. PASQUALE was killed.
"I ran. All of a sudden, I was airborne. I blew around and I hit a wall. LOUIS was behind me, but then suddenly I was alone. He was about three feet away from me. A wall fell over on him. I could see his legs sticking up," GALITI said.
Besides PASQUALE, those killed at the diner were truck driver ROBERT K. HOVAG, 56, of New Hartford, N.Y., and an unidentified man thought to be the operator of a truck found nearby.
CONSTANTINE DELMOLINO, 62, died from injuries he suffered when the twister destroyed his house, two miles north of the truckstop. His wife was hospitalized in fair condition.

Ames Daily Tribune Iowa 1973-08-29