Death might lead to traffic signal - Dayton Daily News (07.28.06)

By Katherine Ullmer
Staff Writer

WASHINGTON TWP., Montgomery County - Following a two-car crash that left a -year-old Washington Twp. girl dead Wednesday, Washington Twp. will ask the Ohio Department of Transportation to take another look at placing a traffic signal at Garnet Drive and Ohio 725.

Yukta Gar was killed Wednesday afternoon when the car in which she was a passenger attempted to cross four lanes of traffic to get to the Washington Twp. Recreation Center and was broadsided by a westbound vehicle.

Six other people were taken to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries and have since been treated and released, said Police Capt. Dee Osterfeld of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Washington Twp. substation. The names of the drivers and other involved in the accident have not been released, pending further investigation, Osterfeld said.

Mike Wannamaker, Washington Twp. public works manager, said Thursday he will contact ODOT to "let them know we have some residential concerns. It's a very unfortunate situation."

The township was turned down by ODOT several years ago when it asked to have a traffic signal at Garnet Drive, he said, because it couldn't show enough need, even though residents complained about how difficult it is turning left from Garnet onto Ohio 725 during heavy traffic.

"That's always been a bone of contention because of traffic crossing that double lane of highway," said Washington Twp. Trustee Lee Snyder.

Snyder said trustees couldn't get the state to put a traffic light at Social Row Road until someone got killed there several years ago, he said. "I believe this is going to trigger it ( a traffic light)."

Officials put in an easement-like private drive from Garnet Drive to McEwen Road several years ago to allow traffic on Garnet to go west to McEwen and make safer left turns onto Ohio 725 at a traffic light, but some residents still use Garnet Drive, Wanamaker said.

The state said every intersection can't have a signal, "but I think it's up to me as public works manager to have some discussion with the traffic engineer at ODOT and go on record that our residents are concerned."

Wannamaker also said the nre Rec West site gives an access to McEwen Road, increasing safety.

Osterfeld said Garg and two other children, ages 4 and 7, were in the back seat of a Honda driven by a 32-year-old Washington Twp. woman. At 4:05 pm Wednesday, the driver tried to cross four lanes of traffic and pulled into the path of a westbound car driven by an 18-year-old Springboro woman. Garg was dead at the scene.

Everyone in the two vehicles was wearing seat belts, Ostereld said. The accident will be reviewed with the prosecutor's office to see if any charges should be filed.