A 61-year-old Amherst man died Tuesday morning while crossing Niagara Falls Boulevard on a stretch of road where at least four other fatalities have occurred in recent years, Amherst police said.
A 20-year-old Buffalo man was driving north in his SUV when he struck the 61-year-old, who is not being identified yet, Capt. Patrick McKenna said.
The accident happened at the intersection of the boulevard and Roger Chaffee Drive before 6 a.m. Tuesday. There is no traffic light or crosswalk at this intersection. The man was crossing the street east to west at the time, police said.
“Everything’s a little dark then at that time and people blend in,” McKenna said, “and sometimes they’re just not seen by the driver.”
He said there was no indication of drug or alcohol use by the driver.
“Trying to get across five lanes without the help of a traffic light is a little dangerous,” McKenna said.
As of 7:45 a.m., a Ford SUV remained in the northbound lane of the boulevard. A mangled walker-type device could be seen at the site of the accident. It is a 45 mph zone.
Niagara Falls Boulevard is closed in both directions between Edward White Drive and South Ellicott Creek Road, according to the Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition.
Police said the southbound lanes will reopen first.
McKenna told The News that at least five fatal crashes involving pedestrians have happened in that stretch of Niagara Falls Boulevard in the last three or four years.
In 2013, two women were killed in separate accidents while crossing Niagara Falls Boulevard not far away from the scene of today’s accident.
In June 2013, a woman later identified as Jeraldine Tater was killed while crossing the boulevard just after 5 a.m. Police at the time said she was crossing the road against a green light, dressing in dark clothing.
In August of that year, Lisa Monaco was struck by a southbound vehicle shortly after 5 a.m. She also was wearing dark clothing.
In February 2014, Sharon L. Alfiere – dressed in dark clothing – was attempting to cross near East Robinson Road minutes before 9 p.m. She was crossing against the signal.