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Community calls for more safety improvements 2 months after deadly school van crash | #schoolsaftey

DRAVOSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — Two months after the death of Serra Catholic high school student Samantha Kalkbrenner, people who live and work in Dravosburg are wondering what took so long when it comes to the safety improvements.

Ambulances responded to a crash along Richland Avenue at Fifth Street on Tuesday just about 100 feet away from the spot where a driver slammed into Kalkbrenner’s school van.

Community members told KDKA-TV that they’re still waiting on a traffic light to try to slow down drivers who speed along Richland Avenue.

State Senator Jim Brewster said that it’s been accelerated, and he hopes the new light will get installed within “months and not two to three years.”

It didn’t take more than a few minutes Tuesday to watch driver after driver ignore the new sign posted on Third Street at Richland Avenue. It reads “all traffic must turn right,” but KDKA-TV watched many drivers making the illegal left turn.

“By the time you get, even if you’re halfway out in the road, you’re already there,” said Linda Lacek, a community member.

Lacek said that she hears the crashes and the horn honking every day.

“I was in the back doing inventory and I heard crush, like a cranking sound,” said Lacek.

She heard the crash Tuesday that sent one person to the hospital. She’s heard of the plans to install the traffic light and saw the new signage but wants to know why there isn’t a police officer pulling speeders over along the stretch.

“You can hear sometimes the tires squealing because they’re racing each other,” she said. “It’s crazy here. It’s not safe.”

KDKA-TV took her questions to Brewster.

“The speed limit is 40 miles per hour and people just don’t pay attention. There are no consequences anymore,” he said.

KDKA-TV asked Brewster about McKeesport police pulling people over or using radar guns.

“Every community wants radar, and we’re trying to get that passed in Harrisburg,” he said. 

When asked why McKeesport police don’t already have radar guns, Brewster said this:

“It’s been a long debate. I’ve been in the Senate for 13 years and we’ve been debating it since the day I got there.”

He added, “Sooner or later, we’re going to have to start pulling people over.”

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