Only seven months after two fatal crashes occurred on Pennsylvania Route 115 within a week of each other, the curvy roadway has claimed another life. Shortly before midnight on September 18, a 26-year-old man, James J. O’Brien, Jr., died in a one-car accident.
According to state police, O’Brien was travelling south on Route 115, just north of Pittston Boulevard, when his car crossed into the northbound lane. The car hit a mailbox and a concrete pillar in a driveway on the northbound side and flipped over. O’Brien was ejected from the car through the driver’s side door and the car ended up on its roof.
O’Brien was taken to Wyoming Valley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
State police are still investigating the circumstances of the crash.
After the fatalities on Route 115 earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation lowered the speed limit to 45 mph. The department also took out the passing lanes and installed a turning lane for both lanes of traffic. State police increased patrols and issued numerous citations.
James J. O’Brien, Jr.’s death raises the question, however, of whether those changes were sufficient to adequately protect safety on a curvy road like Pennsylvania Route 115. No highway can be without risk. But this one has a particularly troubled track record.