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Turning lane planned at site of Pa. car accident

October 24, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, PA. - The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has plans to put a turning lane at an Antrim Township intersection where an accident claimed the lives of a Fulton County, Pa., couple this weekend.

Greg Penny, a PennDOT spokesman, said the turning lane is part of a project to resurface a portion of Pa. 16 estimated to begin in 2008.

The intersection of Hill Road and Pa. 16 across from Lizzy's Ice Cream & Sandwich Shop west of Greencastle has claimed the lives of at least seven people since 1998, according to Franklin County Court and state police records.

The latest accident involved a Fort Littleton, Pa., couple whose car struck the rear of a tractor-trailer that was waiting to turn left onto Hill Road. Harvey and Madeline Seville later died at a local hospital, police said.

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Neighbors say the intersection's safety has been a topic of discussion for years.

"It is overdue for something to be done," said Lee Barnes of 2693 Buchanan Trail West.

Barnes said he recalled talk about a turning lane and lower speed limit in 2003 following the deaths of two teenagers at the intersection, but could not recall anything being done.

The speed limit along Pa. 16 is 55 miles per hour in the area where three crosses stand, marking the location of the fatalities. While Barnes says 55 seems high, Penny said the speed limit was determined by PennDOT using the average speed of 85 percent of drivers, plus or minus 5 miles per hour.

Despite the number of fatalities, Barnes said he could not blame the intersection for the accidents.

"It's wide open there," he said. "I think people just don't pay attention."

While the turning lane is in the works, Penny said PennDOT would be "responsive" to township concerns over the safety of the intersection.

"If the township is concerned about speed through the area, they can write and ask for a speed study," Penny said.

Other fatal accidents near the intersection include:

· In July 2003, Joshua Everetts, 18, and George K. Leavy, 17, were killed in an accident at the intersection, police said.

· On April 18, 1998, Mark Hykes, 34, of Greencastle, and his 4-year-old son, Daniel, were killed at the intersection when their car was struck from behind by a drunken driver and forced into the path of another vehicle, according to state police records.

· In April 1999, James Reed Reesor, 21, of Mercersburg, Pa., died when he lost control of his car and it crashed in the parking lot of the Hillcrest Drive Inn at 2753 Buchanan Trail West, according to police records.

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