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One Year Later: Changes since deadly Wheatland crash

Updated: 07/15/2014 10:42 PM
Created: 07/15/2014 4:50 PM WHEC.com
By: Berkeley Brean

One year ago Wednesday, our community lost three bright, promising young people in a terrible car accident. Chris Peterson, his sister, Emily and their friend, Taylor Binnert were killed. Michaela Murphy and Joanne Krutchen survived the accident.

The accident happened at the intersection of two country roads in Wheatland. After the accident, the community demanded change from New York State. The intersection is now safer than it was last year.

Last year, cars could drive through the intersection at 55 miles an hour. Now they have to stop. The New York State Department of Transportation made the intersection of Route 36 and North Road a four-way stop. 

Last year, a jeep with five young people was headed home after volunteering at a camp when it was hit by a tractor trailer that did not have a stop sign. 

Dan Chapman, Assistant Chief of Mumford Fire Department, said, “I had no idea what the vehicle actually was. I just saw a pile of metal.”

Dan Chapman is the Assistant Fire Chief in nearby Mumford. He was one of the first men on the scene.

Chapman said, “We haven't had to come here for serious accidents after the stop signs have been installed.”

The victims were from Caledonia. The former Caledonia mayor and a lot of parents still think the state could do more.

Joe Colourie, former Caledonia mayor, said, “I feel there should be some type of a stoplight or signal light or something to make people realize they have to stop and not speed.”

In fact, there is a red flashing light at a four-way stop one block away on North Road. The state thinks the poles for the light create more blind spots. So instead, they put up stop sign warning signs. 

Chapman said, “There is no safe enough intersection. It is safer. As a responder, Mumford hasn’t been called back since the stop signs, so that is a good thing.”

To contact the New York State Department of Transportation, you can call them at 518-457-6195.

Chris and Emily Peterson
Taylor Binnert




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