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Traffic signal to be installed in Dravosburg near site of deadly crash involving school van | #schoolsaftey

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Nearly two months after a Serra Catholic High School student was killed in a crash in Dravosburg, local leaders have decided to install a traffic signal near the site of that deadly crash.

On September 20, a Serra Catholic High School van was hit by another vehicle while trying to turn onto Richland Avenue from Third Street. 

15-year-old student Samantha Kalkbrenner was killed in the crash.

A 15-year-old Serra Catholic student was killed when a school van and another vehicle crashed in Dravosburg on Sept. 20, 2023. 

(Photo: KDKA)

The Pa. Turnpike Commission announced Tuesday that a traffic signal will soon be installed at an intersection near where the deadly crash took place and say that the decision to install the light comes “in light of recent accidents, fatalities and ongoing safety issues in this area.”

“The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission stands ready and committed to providing the necessary design, funding, and construction of this signal in a timely fashion,” said Turnpike Commisioner Sean Logan. 

The Turnpike Commission says that they are working with PennDOT and hoping to have the signal installed and in operation by May. 

“The installation of this traffic signal is a critical step in our ability to support the safety of our residents and motorists. I want to thank Commissioner Logan and the PA Turnpike for answering our calls for the need for more safety at this intersection,” said Senator Jim Brewster. “As a leading proponent of the bipartisan effort to complete the Mon-Fayette Expressway, I am pleased that this traffic safety measure is being expedited as part of that ongoing project for the public good.”

“I want to acknowledge and thank the efforts of all the parties involved to get this done so quickly. From the Turnpike accelerating their funding; to PennDOT quickly turning around their traffic study; to the County for installing new signage and dividers; and of course, Dravosburg Boro for passing the ordinances needed to make these intersections safer, every level of government worked together to get this done quickly. Thank you to everyone involved in getting this done in such an expeditious manner,” said Representative Nick Pisciottano.

In the wake of the crash, local leaders including representatives from the Allegheny County Department of Public Works, PennDOT, Dravosburg Borough, and Rep. Pisciottano had a meeting about safety changes. 

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

Signs prohibiting left turns onto Richland Avenue in Dravosburg were installed following a deadly crash involving a Serra Catholic High School van in September.

Credit: KDKA

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.   


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