UPDATE: 3:23 PM
WHEATLAND — Members of the community have been and are continuing to advocate for a stoplight at the fatal intersection of Riga Mumford Road (Rte. 36) and North Road as a result of yesterdays fatal accident.
Yesterday, Taylor Binnert, 21, and Christopher Peterson, 20, died and three other teens were seriously injured when thier vehicle collided with a tractor trailer.
“We have reached out to the New York State Department of Transportation asking them for a accident history at the intersection as well as whether a traffic light had been previously requested,” said Gregory Biryla, Communications Director for Senator Gallivan. “This is a tragic event.”
According to Biryla at this point the Livingston County Regional office has received a handful of requests for action to be taken on the intersection. Those who would like to comment can call the regional office at (518) 455-3471 or email the Senator at: firstname.lastname@example.org. For those who live in Livingston County their representative is Bill Nojay who can be reached at (518) 455-5662 and his email is: NojayW@assembly.state.ny.us.
According to Linda Dobson, Town of Wheatland Supervisor, in 2010 a request to have a stoplight put in at the intersection of North Road and Riga-Mumford Road was made by a local student, who was concerned about the safety of the intersection.
In June of 2010, Dobson submitted the request in the form of a letter to the New York State Department of Transportation.
According to Dobson, the department of transportation responded by saying that they can not prevent all accidents from happening.
From there, the New York State Department of Transportation stated that cutting back the brush was sufficent.
Lori Maher, Regional Public Information Officer for The New York State Department of Transportation, has responded to a request for information and emailed us the following:
Safety is our number one priority. In 2010, the Department completed a study of this intersection and made a number of improvements, which included replacing and upgrading approach signs (stop ahead signs on North Rd and intersection warning signs on Route 36) to improve visibility, and significant tree trimming to improve sight distance. Those improvements were completed in November of 2011.
As part of the traffic review, we evaluated the accidents and found that during a 3-year period (2008 – 2010) prior to our study and improvements, there were 5 reported crashes involving eastbound and southbound vehicles, which was identified as a pattern. Since the improvements, no accidents in that pattern have occurred. On behalf of everyone at DOT, we extend sympathy and sadness for all who are involved.