Amherst to study installing Maple Road crosswalk where girl died - The Buffalo News
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Amherst to study installing Maple Road crosswalk where girl died

More than a year after a 13-year-old girl was killed crossing Maple Road, Amherst officials agreed Monday to study whether the busy stretch warrants a crosswalk.

Town Board members approved the hiring of an outside consultant to study the idea of installing a crosswalk or pedestrian signal at Maple and Culpepper Road.

The town will spend $13,900 to hire Nussbaumer & Clarke Inc. to do pedestrian and traffic counts at the intersection where Erin Suszynski was killed.

Erin, an eighth-grader at Mill Middle School, was crossing Maple in June 2012 and had stopped at a center median with a friend when she was waved on by the driver of a car that had stopped to let the girls pass.

Another car, though, sped around the stopped vehicle and struck the girls. Erin died a few weeks later; the other girl, Briana Francois, has recovered.

Erie County leaders had previously said they would look into the matter only if the town made such a request, but Amherst officials were wary of the idea because Erin’s family had filed a wrongful-death suit against the town.

Since then, the board has softened its stance, requesting a traffic study by the county. The two governments later decided Amherst would do the study.

Work on the study will begin in a few weeks, Building Commissioner Thomas Ketchum said.

The study will look into vehicle and pedestrian counts in the area and will take into consideration other general neighborhood elements.

After a two-to-three-month period, the consultant will then make a recommendation to the Town Board on whether a crosswalk is warranted, Ketchum said.

If a crosswalk is approved, the town would then coordinate with Erie County, which regulates Maple as a county road.

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