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‘Someone is going to be killed:’ Pa. gas station site of multiple crashes as owner demands change

Published: Apr. 17, 2021 at 3:14 PM EDT
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WHITAKER, Pa. (WPXI) - A gas station and convenience store in Pennsylvania has seen too many cases of major wrecks, with the most recent crashes occurring less than two weeks apart.

“He came off the bridge at close to 100 mph. And he hit the ramp and launched himself into the air,” Bob Ackerman said.

A driver wiped out right outside of Ackerman’s business Bob’s Auditorium on Thursday, taking out three parked cars and sending one of his customers to the hospital.

“And then 12 days before this, we had damage to the wall. Guy hit the wall at about 70 mph,” Ackerman said.

Ackerman said nine major crashes have happened in the last six years in front of his store, located at the end of a bridge.

“The big pole was taken out, and all the red lights fell down onto the ground, and that pole went through my building. And then two months later, a guy hit the building,” Ackerman said. “It wasn’t even repaired yet and the guy hit the building.”

Ackerman said he has had enough. He’s contacted county leaders and his state representative, Austin Davis. Davis has visited the intersection, but says his hands are tied as the county owns the bridge.

“I did reach out to the county public works director back in 2019 on the business owner’s behalf for them to look into the issue,” Davis said. “But unfortunately, I just don’t have the power to address the issues that he’s unfortunately dealing with.”

A statement from the Allegheny County Department of Public Works acknowledges that there have been crashes and claimed “an additional speed limit sign and an advanced intersection warning sign were added a couple of years ago.”

“The county, the borough, and PennDot are collaborating on any solutions to improve public safety at the site,” the statement also said.

Ackerman hopes those solutions come sooner rather than later.

“This can’t keep going on. Someone is going to be killed. Probably one of us,” he said.

Ackerman said the frequent crashes have led insurance companies to drop his business twice from coverage.

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