Signal at Harford Co. intersection at Route 24 changed after fatal crash

February 26, 1997|By Lisa Respers | Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF

In the wake of a string of accidents, including one last weekend that caused the death of a 6-year-old girl and her grandmother, the State Highway Administration has changed the signal at a Harford County intersection.

Officials changed the light at Route 24 and Bel Air South Parkway, so drivers may now make a left turn only on an arrow signal.

Diane Neumyer, 58, and Heather Prezioso, who both lived in Bel Air, were killed Saturday as Neumyer tried to turn left onto Bel Air South Parkway as cars were coming toward her.

Police said the intersection has been the site of 10 collisions -- including nine in which drivers tried left turns on a green light -- since last month. One, the day before the fatal accident, involved a state police officer.

Tom Hicks, director of the highway administration's Office of Traffic and Safety, said a traffic study completed this month recommended changing the left turn on green to a turn only on an arrow.

"Because of the concern out there and the recommendation, we moved on it Monday night," Hicks said. "We had good weather and the job took somewhere between three and four hours."

Hicks said his office would continue to monitor the intersection as well as several others along Route 24. Officials are aware of complaints of speeding on the road, but they have decided not to lower the 55-mph limit, he said.

"We'd rather see the excessive speed brought down," said Hicks, adding that state police would be working on the issue of speeders. "The highways are just one-third of the system out there. The other two-thirds are the vehicle and the driver."

A fund has been created to pay for the burial of Heather Prezioso. Donations can be sent to the Heather Prezioso Memorial Fund, c/o Baltimore County Savings Bank, 4208 Ebenezer Road, Baltimore 21236.

Pub Date: 2/26/97

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