Accident at deadly intersection hours after flashing light activated

CLARENCE, N.Y. (WIVB) – Just hours after a flashing light was turned on at an intersection in Clarence with a deadly reputation, there was another accident.

Since 2009, when four teenagers were killed after their car sped through a stop sign at County and Strickler Roads, there has been talk of putting up a traffic signal. A year later, there was a serious school bus collision at that intersection, and neighbors have seen other crashes there.

Erie County conducted a safety audit and determined a flashing light would better serve the intersection rather than a traffic signal. The light, which along with paving and drainage improvements cost $450,000, 90 percent of which was paid for by federal aid, was activated Friday.

Frank Nicotra, who lives near the intersection, took this picture of an accident that took place around six hours later.

Nicotra was skeptical when News 4 spoke to him last month about the flashing light.

He said then, “If it’s a blinking light, it’s not going to cause anybody to stop. If you’re going to go 55 MPH through a blinking yellow light, it’s not going to do any good. You need to slow down the speed limit. The speed limit has to be 45.”

Clarence Town Supervisor David Hartzell said in May he believes the majority of residents will see the flashing light as a positive change.

“They’ve asked for lower speed limits and there’s really two ways to do that. One is to post it, the other is to put a light up. And in this case, between these three dangerous intersections, we’ll have three lights up. So hopefully that’ll slow it down.”

Clarence officials did say there is the potential to adjust the light to a four-way stop in the future.

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