As a longtime emergency medical technician, Bellmorite John Scalesi has seen his share of accidents. But, he said, he has seen one too many crashes on the stretch of Newbridge Road closest to Mepham High School, where Scalesi serves as the Bellmore Kiwanis Club liaison to the Key Club.
“A lot of the kids have told me how hard it is to cross Newbridge Road, and a lot of kids cross that street every day,” he said. “I have seen too many accidents there, and it’s time for someone to do something.”
Scalesi said that's why he is working with local business owners and residents to gather petition signatures calling on local government to install better signage on the road. Mepham administrators and local legislators agreed that signage reminding motorists of the speed limit would slow drivers down and potentially curb the number of accidents they’ve witnessed in the area.
In the past five months, Scalesi said, he has witnessed three accidents between the intersections of Newbridge Road and Camp and Kenneth avenues. Most recently, Scalesi said, a teenager was hit while riding a bicycle on Newbridge Road near Kenneth Avenue on May 30. On Jan. 10 and March 19, he also saw car accidents at Newbridge and Fish Avenue and Newbridge and Elbert Avenue, respectively.
While recent accidents have caused a variety of injuries for the unidentified people involved, Scalesi noted that there have also been deadly incidents in the area. On Nov. 20, 2012, two passengers in the front seat of a 2002 Hyundai, heading east on Camp Avenue, were killed in a collision with a 1998 Mack truck that was headed north on Newbridge Road. The accident also left an unnamed third passenger hospitalized.
Andrea Kravitz is a salon coordinator at Metromodes on Newbridge Road, between Elbert and Kenneth. She said in the five years she has worked at the salon, she’s witnessed about eight accidents, noting that more could have occurred outside her working hours.
“We’ll be in here and we’ll hear a screech, and we know it’s someone trying to turn onto Newbridge Road,” she said. “Visibility is a big part of it, and there are a lot of people coming and going.”