Local woman adopts a highway as a road to healing

LANCASTER, N.Y. (WIVB) – Everyday people pass by the Ransom Road and Genesee Street intersection in Lancaster.

It’s just another section of the road to many, but to one family, it’s not.

Julie Quinn recently adopted a portion of Ransom Road. It’s in honor of her mother, Claudia Jozens, who died in a tragic accident.

“I chose 1.5 miles so that it would complete the journey she never got to make that night,” Quinn said.

On August 7, 1987, Julie, who was six then, was traveling with her mother, grandmother, and six-month-old brother.

“It was a beautiful summer day,” Quinn recalled.

Her mother came to a stop on Ransom Road. Veered out. Then a Cadillac slammed into the side of her mother’s car.

The force of the accident, caused her mother to hit the gas pedal.

“The next thing I knew, we hit a tree. ”

Alfred Violanti of Cheektowaga was the first person on the scene. He ran up to the car and helped Julie.

“She had a seatbelt on. She (Julie) said, ‘Mister, please hold my hand. Tell me how my mom is. Is my mom alright?’ I said yea, your mom is alright. She just held my hand and said, ‘I’m so scared. I’m so scared,’ “ Violanti said.

Jozens later died at the hospital, at the age of 31.

After the police investigation, officials told Jozens’ family that the accident was caused due to a combination of things, such as the dip in the road, flashing stop light, and a political sign obstructing her view.

Four months after her death, the flashing light was changed to a stoplight.

A Department of Transportation spokeswoman said records don’t indicate why the change occurred.

Julie hopes this serves an example to others, that if they see something dangerous on the roads, they’ll let someone know.

She said adopting a highway, became a road to healing for her. She knows her mom is proud.

“You see the sun shining down on me. That’s my mama. That’s her,” Quinn said. “Everyone has been great. So the fact that we’ve been able to give back to the community and heal. It’s a double bonus.”

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