Share This Page

Crash spurs call for changes to Penn Township intersection

| Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Changes could be coming to a Penn Township intersection.

Commissioners voted unanimously last week to request that PennDOT change Snyder Road into a one-way street off Pleasant Valley Road, said Township Manager Bruce Light.

The combination of a hill on Pleasant Valley Road and a steep angle at which Snyder Road connects makes for poor sight distance at that intersection, he said.

The intersection is located between Harrison City and Murrysville in an area where Pleasant Valley Road runs alongside the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Light said only one accident in recent memory has been attributed to drivers being unable to see other vehicles.

On July 26, 2007, two people were traveling by motorcycle on township-owned Pleasant Valley Road and crashed into a vehicle that was exiting Snyder Road, a state-maintained street.

The proposed changes are a result of the accident and subsequent lawsuit, Light said.

The township's insurance company will pay $240,000 to settle the case.

β€œIn order to decrease our potential liability for a future instance,” township officials had to take action, Light said.

Commissioners have approved making a request to PennDOT to begin the road-turnback procedure. Typically, the state pays a municipality to take over ownership of a road under that program.

Light said if Snyder Road is turned over, the thoroughfare could be closed if a new street connecting Pleasant Valley Road and Raymaley Road were to be constructed to eliminate the sight-distance issue.

The June 2009 lawsuit filed by motorcycle passenger Caroline Castelluccio was settled late last year. The Robinson, Allegheny County, resident filed the suit against the township, PennDOT, motorcycle driver Mark Minnaji of Penn Township and vehicle driver Patricia Fasiczka of North Huntingdon.

In the suit, Castelluccio β€” she was married in January 2011, according to online records, and now goes by the name Caroline Humbert β€” claimed the township and state failed to post warning signs or to improve sight distance.

Castelluccio claimed that Minnaji was speeding on Pleasant Valley Road when he collided with a vehicle driven by Fasiczka, who had pulled onto Pleasant Valley Road from Snyder Road.

Castelluccio sustained a vertebrae fracture, facial abrasions and a scalp laceration, according to the suit.

Under the settlement, she was to receive $480,000 from the four defendants, including $240,000 from Penn Township through its insurance company and $125,000 from the state.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.