Stadium, Ampere traffic accident prompts outrage

This collision on June 20 at the corner of Ampere and Stadium avenues caused an SUV to crash into the backyard of 1603 Stadium Avenue. - Photo courtesy of Joe Laforgia

An accident in Spencer Estate has left residents who live near one intersection wondering just how close their children came to suffering the consequences of not having a traffic safety device in their community. 

Residents and homeowners in the vicinity of the corner of Ampere and Stadium avenues are now calling on the city to install a four-way stop sign and speed bumps at the intersection of Stadium and Ampere avenues.

The latest outcry comes after a 2005 GMC Envoy traveling west on Ampere Avenue crashed into 2004 Toyota Corolla traveling southbound on Stadium Avenue at approximately 4:15 p.m. on Friday, June 20.

The GMC Envoy SUV careened into the backyard of a house at the corner, smashing through a fence and finally stopping at the foot of an above ground swimming pool at 1603 Stadium Avenue.

“It sounded like someone was throwing heavy barrels into the backyard,” said Stefanie Baumann, who was with her young children at her mother’s house. “The car stopped right next to the swimming pool and the children’s swing set.”

Across the street, at 3220 Ampere Avenue, cars crashing into the property have become a fairly regular occurrence.

“I have had three instances where cars have smashed through my gate and onto my property in the last five years,” noted resident Joe Laforgia. “Sooner or later someone is going to be hurt or killed by a car. I have kids, and other parents don’t even want their children to come down this block.”

Laforgia called on the Department of Traffic to install a 4-way stop sign at the corner. Speed humps are apparently not an option since they would impede bus traffic, which comes down Ampere Avenue.

“I have been fighting for a four-way stop sign at this corner for years, ever since I personally witnessed a car go through a fence at a different property in 2005,” said Councilman Jimmy Vacca.

“The DOT recently put speed humps on Ampere Avenue further down the block, but those speed humps did not address the particular problem at this corner,” Vacca added. 

The councilman believes the most recent accident, which sent  both drivers to the hospital where they were treated for minor injuries, proves that additional controls are needed.

“I spoke with the mayor’s office right away on Monday morning, and I am now asking the mayor’s office to personally assess this situation,” he stated. 

Some observers said a guardrail should be installed at the corner to prevent cars from smashing into the yards of houses in the future.

“They have got to put up a guard rail here because this happens all of the time,” Joseph Vaccaro said. “We keep complaining to the city. There were kids in the yard – somebody could have been killed.”

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