Lindenhurst intersection gets new traffic light after fatal crashes

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LINDENHURST -

A new traffic light has been installed at a Lindenhurst intersection that has been the scene of multiple fatal crashes.

As News 12 has reported, three people died near the intersection in the past five years. Brittney Walsh, 18, was killed by a drunken driver in 2012; John Aluska, 61, was run down by a hit-and-run driver in 2015; and this summer, Aluska's sister, 54-year old Pauline, was also killed by a hit-and-run driver. Both hit-and-run drivers were never caught.

Nearby residents had been demanding a traffic light at the intersection. In addition to the new stop light, the state Department of Transportation also installed a left-turn lane, a crosswalk and pedestrian crossing for the visually impaired.

Tom Walsh, Brittney Walsh's father, says state lawmakers need to increase penalties for drivers who flee the scenes of crashes. He says that while the traffic light is good, it would not have saved his daughter from the drunken driver who slammed into her.

In a statement, the DOT says it "expedited the process" of installing the light but faced "unforeseen conditions." Those familiar with the process say it included red tape with other agencies and installing the light so close to nearby canals.

The state also plans to install a second traffic light five blocks away on South Eighth Street.

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