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Havoc continues at Dunham’s exit

March 8, 2013
Salem News

CALCUTTA - Just a few days after St. Clair Township Trustees and police Chief Donald Hyatt discussed it at the Feb. 27 meeting, the northeastern exit to Dunham's plaza was once again the site of a traffic accident.

A woman was transported to East Liverpool City Hospital following a two-vehicle accident at the troublesome entrance/exit located near the Calcutta Post Office at approximately 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

A Ford Escape driven by Joseph May was attempting to make a left turn out of the plaza drive and failed to yield to a Chevy Aveo driven by Brittany Amicone, who was westbound on state Route 170, according to Patrolman Ryan Stovall of the St. Clair Township police department. May was found to be at fault for failing to yield. The Ford Escape driven by May sustained heavy damage to the driver's side and the Chevy Aveo driven by Amicone is totaled.

Article Photos

A woman was transported to East Liverpool City Hospital following a two vehicle accident on State Route 170 Thursday morning. The accident took place at the northeastern exit of the Dunham’s plaza as a motorist attempted to make a left turn onto 170. This particular site regularly produces accidents according to St. Clair Township Police Chief Donald Hyatt and has township trustees considering ways to get left turns banned there. (Submitted Photo)

Accidents caused by motorists attempting to turn left out of the plaza have been the focus of trustee's concern.

Trustees and Chief Hyatt were in agreement that something should be done to ban or restrict left turns at the site. "We don't want to wait until somebody gets killed there to do something about this," said board President James Hall at the meeting.

Hyatt, who said his department responds regularly to accidents at the site, was in agreement with trustees saying, "In my opinion there should be no left turn there."

According to trustee Robert Swickard, ODOT ranks this particular site as among the top 50 in the state for producing traffic accidents.

Reached for comment on the dangerous plaza exit, ODOT District 11 Traffic Engineer Chris Varcolla was already familiar with the accident-plagued site, and stated that ODOT has conducted traffic studies on that section of 170 before.

He declined to comment on the findings of the previous studies. "If it's a private drive, then it's up to the property owner to restrict the access," said Varcolla adding, "In the past what we've done when we've had safety problems like that is we made a request of the property owner to allow us to install 'left turn prohibited signs.'"

He emphasized that ODOT does not have the power to place restrictions on privately-owned drives but instead tries to work with property owners to reach a solution.

Trustees have not yet met with business owners and ODOT to discuss the possibility of banning left turns from the exit, according to trustee James Sabatini II. Business owners with businesses located in and around the plaza have previously sent letters to township trustees stating their opposition to any such ban.



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