HAMILTON TOWNSHIP - Township Committee wants the state Department of Transportation to review a dangerous road in hopes that something can be done.
Six people have died over the past 10 years along a 3.4-mile stretch of Route 50 in the township's Laureldale section, Mayor Amy L. Gatto said at Monday night's township meeting, during which the committee passed a resolution asking for a DOT study.
The portion of road between Route 322, also known as the Black Horse Pike, and where it veers northeast at Walnut Street is straight, wide and smooth, with ample shoulders. The speed limit is 50 mph, but that is frequently flouted.
Gatto quoted statistics provided by township police saying that portion of the road has been the scene of 242 crashes resulting in 156 injuries over the past decade.
More recently, four people have died there in three years, Gatto said. "Just remember, this happens on just that stretch of the road," she said.
"I think that when you look at the numbers they just jump out of you," township Committeeman Roger Silva said.
Many of the collisions occur, Gatto said, when a vehicle pulls out of one of the numerous side streets, misjudging the distance from other cars. Dusk is particularly dangerous. Excessive speed can also play a role.
The latest fatal collision occurred around 5:30 a.m. Feb. 26. Police said Mays Landing resident Daniel O'Shea, 49, had planned to take the jughandle just south of the Atlantic City Expressway turn to go north.
But as he crossed into the southbound lanes, a southbound truck driven by Hammonton resident Robert Maskos, 40, collided with him.
O'Shea was killed, while Maskos suffered minor injuries and was taken to AtlantiCare in Hammonton.
It was not clear what would be done to improve safety. "But if nothing, we can keep people from drag-racing from that (traffic light near the expressway off-ramp) to (Route) 322," Gatto said.
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