Easthampton officials address pedestrian safety following fatal crash

A man and woman were struck and killed last night on Northampton Street in Easthampton.
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 6:35 PM EDT
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EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - A string of deadly crashes in western Massachusetts has many concerned for their safety. The most recent crashes occurred Wednesday morning in Holyoke and Tuesday night in Easthampton.

A man and woman were struck and killed last night on Northampton Street in Easthampton.

That accident happened right in front of the Burger King. There are no crosswalks on the road and only a very little sidewalk, something residents in the area think needs to change.

People in Easthampton expressed concerns about safety on Northampton Street.

“Personally, I think that they really need to put some lights on Northampton Street because I believe it’s a very dangerous street because people go down that street and they just fly down there,” said Therese Pietraszkiewicz of Easthampton. “It’s almost like a racetrack.”

This came in the wake of a deadly accident that killed two people who were walking on the street Tuesday night – an 81-year-old man and 60-year-old woman.

“Put some crosswalks over there,” Pietraszkiewicz said. “It’s needed for these people, especially for the seniors that are walking on the streets and stuff.”

We caught up with State Representative Daniel Carey who told Western Mass News that he has been hearing about issues on Northampton Street prior to Tuesday night’s tragedy. He said that the Department of Transportation has identified it as a priority area.

“It’s on their list for a Complete Streets grant, which the Complete Streets Program updates not just the vehicle travel, but pedestrian travel, cyclists,” Representative Carey told us. “We want it to be a safe path for everyone.”

Owen Zaret, Chair of the Easthampton City Council’s Public Safety Committee, said in part, quote:

“My heart is broken for the two lives lost crossing Northampton Street last night. May their memories be a blessing as they remain in our collective thoughts.”

He went on to say:

“I will speak with leadership about this stretch of road as to what may be done to improve pedestrian, cyclist, and pedestrian safety.”

Representative Carey sausd that he is renewing his push to the MassDOT to improve crosswalks and visibility in this area.

“We’ll continue to work on this to make sure a tragedy like this doesn’t happen again,” he said.

Safety improvements on this street would be funded by the state. The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Northwestern District Attorney’s office.