BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Many people are deeply saddened about Saturday’s tragedy at Delaware Park. A car traveling on Route 198, jumped the curb, and struck two children, 3 year-old Maskym and his 5 year-old sister Stephani. Maskym was killed and Stephani is being treated at Women and Children’s Hospital.
“As a parent who lives in this neighborhood, and brings my kids here every day, my heart bleeds for this mother,” Kerri Machemer of Buffalo said.
Another concerned resident, Margery Miller said, ”I think it’s absolutely tragic. That should never have happened. Those people were walking in the park. Where else should you be as safe, as in a park?”
Miller has lived in Buffalo all of her life. She said there have been safety issues at Delaware Park for many years. “There’s been a long history of light bulbs being knocked down. There would be one a week,” she said.
“I am afraid to bring my children to this park,” Machemer, a mother of two said. “While there’s no safety and no guardrails. You can’t walk up this hill and think that you’re going to be safe anymore. It’s terrible.”
Many people said they want the Department of Transportation to make some changes to Route 198.
“We’ve asked for two things. One for a complete elimination. What would that look like? Let’s take it back to the day where we didn’t have a thoroughfare through the park. The other one is a speed reduction,” Michel DeLuca, the chair of the traffic committee at the Parkside Community Association said. DeLuca suggested reducing the speed on Route 198 to 30 miles per hour.
Neighbors said they also want the Buffalo officials to put a guardrail, fence or boulders in the park near the expressway.
“It was a terrible day yesterday, and it’s going to be terrible until something is done,” Machemer said.
Concerned parents plan on holding a vigil for the family at the Hunter and the Dog Statue on Ring Rd in the Park on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
They’ll meet at the statue near the crash site.