Group Pushes For More Street Lights Along Flanders Road After Hit-And-Run Accident Seriously Injures Riverside Man

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Residents are calling for the installation of more street lights along dark stretches of Flanders Road, namely the section in Riverside where a man was struck by a SUV whose driver then fled the scene nearly two weeks ago. The victim suffered serious injuries in the hit-and-run accident.

Members of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association are working with Southampton Town officials to add lights to either side of an existing crosswalk located west of Vail Avenue on Flanders Road in Riverside, explaining that they will make it easier for drivers to see pedestrians. Eventually, members said they would like to see the state, which is responsible for maintaining Flanders Road, install additional crosswalks in the area.

At Monday night’s FRNCA meeting, Town Councilman John Bouvier said he is working with the rest of the board to find the money needed for the street lights. Town officials did not know how much the work would cost. He added that the state would have to decide if additional crosswalks are needed.

“There are regulations that we have to follow,” Mr. Bouvier said. “It is not as easy as saying we want one here. We have to meet all of the regulations, and the state is notoriously slow. I want to solve the safety problem.”

The push for additional lighting was sparked when a Riverside man, Orlando Xutur, was struck while crossing Flanders Road just after 6 p.m. on November 6 in his hometown. The driver of the Ford Explorer that struck him then fled the scene, according to Southampton Town Police, who have not yet made an arrest.

As of Wednesday morning, Mr. Xutur was still in serious condition at Stony Brook University Hospital.

According to Ron Fisher, president of FRNCA, part of the problem is the crosswalk itself, explaining that it is not located at an intersection, providing drivers with little to no warning when pedestrians enter it—especially at night. The crossing is also located in a 40-mph zone, meaning drivers often have little time to slow down if someone is trying to cross. It was not clear if Mr. Xutur was using the crosswalk when he was struck.

“We are working on getting more lighting as a short-term solution,” Mr. Fisher said. “For the long term we would like to relocate the crosswalk either to an intersection, or closer to the traffic circle where at least people are slowing down and not speeding up.”

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