Dravosburg Borough Council approves more safety changes after crash killed Pittsburgh-area high school student | #schoolsaftey

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Dravosburg Borough Council approved additional safety changes following the tragic death of a Serra Catholic High School student last month

Police said the driver of the van carrying Samantha Kalkbrenner tried to make a left turn from Third Street onto Richland Avenue when it was hit by a driver traveling north on Richland Avenue. Kalkbrenner, 15, was killed.  

On Tuesday, Dravosburg Borough Council passed an ordinance making left turns onto Richland Avenue illegal and enforceable by police. 

“I’m glad that something is finally being done about stopping that Dravosburg speedway,” Ann Toth of Dravosburg said. “But it’s unfortunate that we had to have a very tragic accident and someone had to lose their life because of it.” 

Drivers on the southbound side of Richland Avenue toward the Mansfield Bridge will see three “no left turn” signs that Allegheny County put up. PennDOT also put up a message board alerting drivers about the new signs. 

Last week, Allegheny County installed “no left turn” and “all traffic must turn right” signs at Third and Fourth streets, as well as Beech Alley. The county also painted “slow” pavement markings on Richland Avenue north of the Mansfield Bridge and before the road’s intersection with Third Street. There is also a new “speed limit 40” sign facing southbound traffic. 

Other plans include putting a traffic separator curb with panels between the northbound and southbound lanes of Richland Avenue from Third to Fourth streets.

McKeesport Police Chief Mark Steele said the speed limit sign went up last week and officers have already made 20 stops.

“We are going to try to get cars there several hours a shift,” Steele said.

“I’m going to do the best I can to prevent any more accidents or tragedies because I was there that day,” he added.

On Sept. 20, Kalkbrenner died in a crash on her way to school after police say the school van she was in tried to turn left from Third Street onto Richland Avenue when a white Jetta traveling north struck the van. Sources tell KDKA-TV the drivers of that Jetta and a Jeep were racing across the Mansfield Bridge. Sources added that the Jetta driver reached 107 miles per hour and was going over 70 miles per hour when it hit the van. KDKA-TV is told charges are imminent. 

Back on Richland Avenue, some said a traffic light is needed now. PennDOT has started two studies to see if a signal is warranted at Richland and Fifth.

Dravosburg Mayor Kevin McKelvey said he’s been trying to get one for years. No word on when a traffic light might be installed. 

An Allegheny County police spokesperson said the crash is still under investigation. 

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