IM this article to a friend!

June 7, 2004

Hit by car, man is killed in Easton

From: Allentown Morning Call, PA - Jun 7, 2004

Crash site on Butler Street is on dangerous stretch, neighbors say.

By Matt Assad Of The Morning Call

June 7, 2004

A New Jersey man was killed early Sunday as he was crossing a section of Butler Street in Easton that West Ward neighbors say has become notorious for its danger to pedestrians.

The man had crossed the 1000 block of Butler Street almost daily, but just before 12:30 a.m. he stepped out between parked cars and was hit by a sport utility vehicle driven by John Terraciano, 19, of Easton, city police said.

Police said the crash is under investigation, and did not identify the victim, but neighbors said he was a West Ward resident who frequented Butler Street businesses.

Northampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek said the man was 35 and from Rockaway, N.J., but he withheld his name until his family can be notified. Lysek said the victim, who was deaf, was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple trauma.

Alex Lake, a Butler Street resident who also is deaf and was a friend of the victim, saw the accident from the second floor of his home.

''He was walking across the street to check on his car, and it seemed like he looked up to see the headlights,'' Lake said. ''He saw the flash of lights, but it was too late.''

Terraciano was driving east on Butler when he hit the man as he was crossing at Warren Street.

Neighbors said the death of a pedestrian is not surprising. The one-way section of Butler Street sweeps through a neighborhood of row homes and small businesses, but its 25 mph speed limit is often ignored by motorists taking advantage of nearly a half-mile stretch of road unimpeded by stop signs or traffic lights, residents said.

Within a few yards of Sunday's accident, a 10-year-old boy was critically injured crossing the street in 1998, and an Easton man died in 1999 when his motorcycle hit a car crossing Butler at Warren, according to Morning Call archives.

''Twenty-five miles per hour? Try 55. This is like a speedway out here,'' said Butler Street resident Pete Tomino. ''My car's been hit four times, and just about everyone on this block has had their car hit while it was parked. We need a light, or at least a stop sign.''

There's no shortage of pedestrian traffic. The spot where the man was killed is in front of a group home for the mentally ill and less than a block from the Jefferson Street public housing development.

Jefferson Street tenant association Vice President Louella Morris said she hopes the accident brings change.

''I know I'm going to talk about this at the next meeting,'' Morris said. ''There's been 10 or 15 accidents here just since I moved here in 1999. Most of them are minor fender-benders, but it shows how dangerous this is. We need to do something.''

Copyright © 2004, The Morning Call