Numerous crashes and multiple lives lost at a local intersection have driven Clarence residents and town officials to fight for changes to a place with a long history of scary scenes and tragedies.
County and Strickler Roads in Clarence looks like any other rural street crossing. But local residents know what has happened there over the last few years. In 2009, four teenagers were killed in a crash at the intersection. Police believe speed was a factor. Then only a few days later, there was another serious incident involving a car and a truck. And then in 2010 a school bus was hit by a car, flipped over, and crashed into a light pole. Speed was also believed to be involved.
Now Clarence officials and residents want to see something done.
"It's usually collisions. Two cars. And usually one of them is going 55 miles per hour. At that speed, major damage can be done," Andrew Harris, who lives near the intersection, said Friday.
The Clarence Town Supervisor, David Hartzell, is also pushing for safer roads.
"As the Town Supervisor, you're responsible for all the people. Not just the people who live in Clarence but the people who come to Clarence, so it's important for us as the Town Board to act."
Larger stop signs were placed at the intersection last year to cut down on crashes. But for residents and the Town Supervisor, that isn't enough.
"The time has come to drop the speed limit and slow things down on County Road. Especially when lives are on the line there really is no time to stall," Hartzell said.
Residents held a public meeting Friday night to discuss what they want done to improve safety of this deadly strip of roadway.
Erie County owns County Road in Clarence, so any changes must first go through them. The Clarence Town Supervisor said the Town Board is expected ask the County to inspect the intersection and make improvements. He hopes to have the speed limit dropped as well as other changes in place as soon as this fall.