Sound Off: Safety Improvements for Southern State Parkway

Accident around Exit 24 of roadway claims two lives this past Sunday.

In the wake of the crash that took the lives of two people on the Southern State Parkway around Exit 24 in Merrick Sunday morning, motorists are calling for safety improvements to the roadway.

According to Newsday, the area where the accident occurred is on a stretch of the parkway dubbed "Blood Alley" because of the many fatal crashes in between Exit 17 and Exit 30. Last August, a Queens woman suffered critical injuries when she crashed her vehicle into a tree around Exit 28 of the eastbound Southern State Parkway in Wantagh.

“The southern snake is what I call it. It’s like this. It’s always turns. If you’re not paying attention, boom, you fly right off the road,” Eric Duran told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs. “Something has to be done.”

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In Sunday's fatal accident, Kervens Boutin, 30, of Hempstead, was operating a Nissan Maxima westbound on the Southern State Parkway with four passengers when he lost control and struck several trees. Pronounced dead at the scene were passengers Bryan Rivas, 20, and Blossom Castro, 22, both of Hempstead. Three additional passengers were listed in critical condition following the crash. 

Boutin was charged with reckless driving. Additional charges are pending the outcome of the accident investigation. 

“People drive too fast, that’s the problem," North Merrick Resident Charles Latka told CBS. "The 55 mph doesn’t mean anything. [It's] constant, you never go through a weekend where you don’t hear squealing brakes and a crash.”

According to CBS, State police statistics show 12 fatalities on that stretch of the Southern State Parkway in the last two years and 40 in the last five years.

Do you think changes need to be made to the Southern State Parkway? Tell us in the comments section below.

Lorraine DeVita January 30, 2013 at 04:41 PM
Improvement s dont need to be made to the SS parkway - the Fatalities are not caused by the roadway they are caused by drivers exceeding the speed limits to the points the car can not manuever successfully. 55 MPH is slow however at 65-70 which is the average speed without the bumper to bumper taffic that sometimes ensues the road is fine it is when people feel the need for speed or dont pay attention or attempt to lay the pedal to the metal during times the road is virually empty that these accidents occur. Dont blame the road blame the driver. MANY people drive this road successfuly daily. without , maiming or killing themselves or others. They drive within reason and are cognizant of the consequences of speeding or driving recklessly. Put the blame where it is due - on the driver ..and place a few of the state troopers on that stretch of road as a deterent if people are so concerned. I found the following quote inthe articel amusing "“The southern snake is what I call it. It’s like this. It’s always turns. If you’re not paying attention, boom, you fly right off the road,” Eric Duran told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs. “Something has to be done." I agree here s a thought perhaps PAYING ATTENTION WHEN YOUR DRIVING MIGHT HELP save your life and the lives of others.
Rob Buttermilch January 30, 2013 at 05:54 PM
100% agree. Perhaps more troopers patrolling during those hours to act as a deterrent since people don't want to slow down themselves. It would also reign in the DWI problem. People would think twice about going 90 if there was a deterrent... other than this.
Chris Wendt January 30, 2013 at 06:20 PM
Put a nightly sobriety checkpoint on SSP westbound at Meadowbrook Road, where there are extra lanes. Everybody stops and gets checked between 10PM and 5AM. Do the same thing on SSP eastbound at Wantagh Parkway, where there are also extra lanes. Take the troopers out of their hiding places on WSP (just south of SSP) and inside the DOT yard on Meadowbrook Road immediately south of SSP.
Denise January 31, 2013 at 12:20 PM
This article really is very sad and the title is bizarre! Really? The road needs safety improvements, so the drivers don't have to pay attention anymore? What about driving on dark country roads that curve around a mountain? Do they have to straighten out all the roads so there are no curves, so the drivers don't have to pay attention anymore? That way the drivers can hold a decent conversation with their passengers, instead of crashing them into a tree! This logic is all backwards and it's amazing that these days it always is.
Chris January 31, 2013 at 10:04 PM
Where are all the Troopers?! A few years ago there was a lot of Police activity on the State parkways. Traffic summon's are to educate the public. Especially young drivers. I guess not enough people are outraged for our Govenor to get involved.


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