Saugerties Residents Demand A New Traffic Light at Fatal Intersection
There is no way to put into words what someone feels after they lose someone they love. If you've ever experienced a tragedy like Krista Smith experienced last month, you can understand her passion when it comes to making sure the same thing doesn't happen to another family in the Hudson Valley.
Tragedy struck on the morning of October 14, 2021, at the intersection of Route 9W and Malden Turnpike in the Ulster County town of Saugerties, while 35-year-old Jeff Begreen was doing something he's done numerous times in the past.
Begreen was driving his dump truck and after picking up a load of stone in Catskill, he headed back to Saughteries to deliver the load. While driving on Route 9W Begreen approached Malden Turnpike when a car started to pull out into his lane of traffic.
According to the Change.org petition, "Jeff swerved to avoid the car which put him in the path of an oncoming school bus, which he also swerved to avoid. This caused the dump truck he was driving to hit a telephone pole, topple onto its side, slide down the roadway, and be hit head-on by the school bus. Killing him instantly. In only four seconds, a life that was so full of dreams, promise, and adventure was over."
This specific intersection has long been considered one of the most dangerous intersections in the county with numerous accidents being reported. Hoping this never happens again, Jeff's fiance Krista has made it her mission to have a new traffic signal installed at the dangerous intersection.
Krista launched a petition online to get the town, county, or state to install the traffic light. She wrote "For years the NY State Department of Transportation, the Town of Saugerties, and Ulster County have been asked to put a stoplight at this intersection. Time after time they have neglected to do so and their oversight led to this tragic accident. Enough is enough! It's time to put up a traffic light!" The petition has been signed by over 2,200 people as of today.
If you live in the area and agree that a traffic light is needed in that specific intersection, please sign the online petition here.