Sound Off: Safety Improvements for Southern State Parkway

In the wake of the crash that took the lives of two Hempstead residents on the Southern State Parkway in Merrick Sunday morning, motorists are calling for improvements to be made. 

“The southern snake is what I call it. It’s like this. It’s always turns. If you’re not paying attention, boom, you fly right off the road,” Eric Duran told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs. “Something has to be done.”

Kervens Boutin, 30, of Hempstead, was operating a Nissan Maxima westbound on the Southern State Parkway with four passengers when he lost control and struck several trees.  

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Pronounced dead at the scene were passengers Bryan Rivas, 20, and Blossom Castro, 22, both of Hempstead.  

Boutin and another passenger, Marlo Cabrera, 19, of the Bronx, were transported to Nassau University Medical Center, where they remain in the Intensive Care Unit, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

An additional passenger, Antonio Rivas, 22, of Hempstead, was transported to Winthrop Hospital, where hospital officials confirmed he remains in critical condition.

Boutin was charged with Reckless Driving. Additional charges are pending the outcome of the accident investigation. 

“People drive too fast, that’s the problem," North Merrick Resident Charles Latka told CBS. "The 55 mph doesn’t mean anything. [It's] constant, you never go through a weekend where you don’t hear squealing brakes and a crash.”

According to CBS, State police stats show 12 fatalities on that stretch of the Southern State in the last two years and 40 in the last five years.

Do you think changes need to be made to the Southern State Parkway? Tell us in the comments section below.

lucky libra January 31, 2013 at 01:12 PM
i bet if you look at the history of accidents on the parkway, there will be one factor, maybe two that will show up, the age of the driver, the younger generation does not know what the brake pedal is for, and 2, is a group of dreugs, alcohol and TEXTING, just my thoughts !!!!!!
John Dunn January 31, 2013 at 02:08 PM
The causes of road violations are likely as you say, but the situations they cause are the further result of there being little or no law enforcement action on the roadways. If a car is doing 90 mph, why isn't there a police response? Also, although the issue is under discussion here, why isn't it under discussion in venues that may lead to remedies? One these posts have been followed by posts about other topics, there is very likely to have been zero net effect on this topic.
lucky libra January 31, 2013 at 02:36 PM
i made this statement on another site in patch, we were all there once in our lives, but this younger generation knows only the gas pedal. they never learned what the other pedal is for. and yes, DWI, should cover driving while impaired, along with a stiffer penalty than what is on the books now. plea deals regarding DWI should be done away with, espicially if a serious injury or fatality occurs. those who just got their license during the summer, just dont know how to drive in the rain because of lack of experience, but speed has been and will continue to be a major factor in accidents on the parkway
Debbie January 31, 2013 at 03:54 PM
Gentlemen you all have valid points of view, we need for our politicians to step up here and put something that makes sense together to stop drivers from creating accidents due to aggressive driving cutting other drivers off and acting in a careless manor when it comes to cellphones, drugs and alcohol the innocent drivers should not have to pay for this with there lives!
thomas stoerger February 02, 2013 at 10:09 AM
The gentlemen's comment to CBS Radio "If you're not paying attention, boom" how ridiculous should'nt you ALWAYS be paying attention when behind the wheel. There are numerous aeas of the SS Pkwy that have restricted speed limits(ea: Baldwin Rd area both diretions 50 mph etc.) The driver was from Hempstead no doubt heading home and familar with the area roads. At the age of 30, should've been consciencous behind the wheel.


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