CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) are searching for answers and solutions after three deadly crashes on Route 64 in Centre County within the past week.
PennDOT said before this ‘surge’, Route 64 (Nittany Valley Drive) wasn’t on their radar as an area of concern.
“We really haven’t had too many crashes along this stretch of 64 in the past five years,” said Ryan Collins, district highway safety supervisor for PennDOT. “In fact, after researching our crash data and the history we have, in the last five years there was five reportable crashes and only one be suspected minor injury, and the other four were property damage only.”
Collins said they’re waiting for a police report with all details on the recent fatal crashes.
“Once that police report is available to the DOT, then we can go ahead and go in there and potentially look at causation factors,” said Collins.
PennDOT said they’ll need a request from Walker Township to complete certain studies.
“Once we receive a formal written request from the township, we, at no cost, go out and perform a speed study,” said Collins. “Then we correspond back with Walker Township with our findings.”
Collins said they may also look at passing zones, intersections, and adding speed display boards.
“In the meantime, my office, the safety press office, we’re going to continue with our outreach and education efforts, just continue to get that message out there, everybody needs to be buckled,” said Timothy Nebgen, safety press officer for PennDOT District 2-0.
Not wearing or improperly wearing a seatbelt has been a common denominator in all three crashes.
“It doesn’t matter what the age is, you have to have that safety belt on to make sure you’re safe and secure in the event of a collision,” said Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Christopher Fox.
Trooper Fox said there’s already been an increased police presence.
“Obviously in the event that there’s been three fatal crashes, it’s something that’s very tragic and we want to make sure that we prevent it in the future,” said Trooper Fox.
On Wednesday, May 4, at 6 p.m., Walker Township will hold a public meeting at the township building (816 Nittany Valley Drive) to discuss safety at the Dunkel Road intersection specifically.