At about 1:20 a.m. on Saturday morning a vehicle struck and killed two pedestrians, and seriously injured a third person. Shawnee Road, the site of the accident, is a two-lane highway that had cars parked on both sides. It is also said to be the site of many past automobile accidents, and has been a concern for some of the town’s residents for some time.
The accident victims, Melanie Aronow, 18, of Amherst, Quincy Harper, 18, of Lockport, and Quincy Byrd, 18, of Lockport, were all attending a party nearby prior to the accident. An investigation is underway by law enforcement, but the driver, Carly Marrs, 20, has not been charged.
Although usual avenues will be examined by police, such as driving speed, distractions, lighting on the road and the condition of the driver, many believe that the safety of Shawnee Road itself should be fully investigated. In addition to neighbors claiming that accidents occur there often, particularly due to the 55 mph speed limit, Wheatfield Supervisor Robert B. Cliffe also says it “is not a safe road.”
An investigation of Shawnee Road, which is part of State Route 425, would require cooperation between Wheatfield officials and the state Department of Transportation. Any changes the town and its residents think would help, such as banning parking on one side or reducing the speed limit, would have to be sent to the DOT for consideration.