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.
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