State College

State College police say scooter driver caused fatal crash

Emergency personnel work the scene of a fatal accident at the intersection of Park Ave. and N. Atherton St. in State College in June.
Emergency personnel work the scene of a fatal accident at the intersection of Park Ave. and N. Atherton St. in State College in June. CDT file photo

Police are placing the blame for a fatal crash on the man who died.

According to a release Friday, State College police have concluded their investigation into the June 22 crash that killed Joel Reed.

Reed, 39, was driving a scooter when he collided with the Mini Cooper driven by Kimberly Griffin, who was turning left onto Park Avenue.

“After a review of all available evidence and a thorough investigation, the crash reconstruction investigator concluded that the motorized scooter, operated by Joel Reed, was traveling northbound on North Atherton Street and failed to stop for steady red traffic signal,” police said in a statement.

The investigation concluded that Griffin committed no violations.

The location is still a concern. Reed’s death was the second at that location in a year. A Penn State student, Eva O’Brien, 18, was killed there while jogging in July 2014.

“It’s been a real problem for years, and the last few years we have tried hard for red light cameras there,” said College Heights Association President Donna Queeney at a community meeting about the issue in July. “I cross there twice every day, and it’s the hardest thing to do every day.”

According to State College Police Chief Tom King, his office and the state Department of Transportation are reviewing ideas generated at that meeting.

King also said non-enforcement cameras were installed at that intersection earlier in August and were put into use last week.

“We are monitoring,” he said. Data is being collected on vehicle volume, pedestrian volume, pedestrian crossings, both legal and illegal, and other factors.

“We are also increasing enforcement,” King said.

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