It was a day that would forever change the Sugorovskiy family. Saturday, May 30, 2015.
Three-year-old Maksym was killed and his 5-year-old sister Stefanie was seriously injured after a driver fell asleep at the wheel.
That driver veered off of the Rt. 198 Expressway and onto a walkway at Delaware Park. The car hit the pair and their mother who were walking home from a soccer game.
Not only were the lives of this young family changed, but a movement began challenging local and state officials to address problems surrounding the expressway began.
Just days after the accident the speed limit was reduced from 50 miles per hour to 30.
“This family is going to be impacted for years to come and I think that’s very important for us to remember,” Amber Small, Executive Director of the Parkside Community Association told 7 Eyewitness News.
Small was just one of many local leaders leading the charge for change in the days after the accident.
“These safety improvements just don’t impact your morning commute they change someone’s life so we really do need to look at the bigger picture,” Small said.
After the speed limit was reduced several “stake holder meetings” hosted by the New York Department of Transportation were held.
Small says many ideas both short and long term were proposed but Small says not much has changed. “We have spring coming up. Not only does this roadway bisect our neighborhood, it also cuts through our park.”
She says she wants to see the lanes narrowed, more landscaping, and appropriate barriers installed. A sentiment echoed by fellow Parkside stakeholders.
“I’m cautiously optimistic that tomorrow’s meeting is going to be a game changer,” Justin Booth, Executive Director at GObike Buffalo said.
The NYDOT sponsored meeting is being held at Buffalo State College on February 10, 2015. So far an agenda has not been released for the meeting.