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Recent tragedy highlights danger of Pompey Center Road

More than 30 accidents, with three deaths, have been reported on the road in three years

Pompey Center Road has been the site of three fatal crashes since 2009.

Pompey Center Road has been the site of three fatal crashes since 2009. Photo by Amanda Seef.

— After the latest crash, neighbors on the road that bridges Manlius and Pompey hope to see something change.

“It’s no fault to law enforcement people, you can’t be everywhere in the county,” said Randy Graham. Graham and his wife have lived on Pompey Center Road for decades. “People just fly up and down this road. Where we live it’s 50 miles per hour, but north of us, it’s 40. Ray Charles can see they’re going a lot faster than that.”

The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office is the primary responder for calls south of Broadfield Road, entering into the town of Pompey. The town of Manlius begins just south, but running north, of the intersection with Broadfield Road. Manlius Police have responded to 11 accidents on the road; the Sheriff’s Office, 23.

“I drove up that road everyday, I would hang with friends and we would go on afternoon drives,

Yeates said. “I used to listen to music and drive. It seems that wasn’t the best idea because it’s definitely not a safe road.”

Yeates hasn’t driven since the accident, but he takes caution when riding with friends or family along the county route.

“It doesn’t really feel good to be on that road,” he said. “I know what could happen. I know what did happen.”

Two housing developments have increased the traffic in the area, Graham said. Those developments have also created a hazard on the road for wildlife, as they were built in a natural habitat for deer.

“The developments generate more people and more traffic,” Graham said. “You know it’s going to catch up with you, the law of averages.”

Following his accident, Yeates urges drivers of the road to pay more attention to what’s going on, and to take greater care when driving through the area.

“I think you just feel so safe on that road because you can see everything in front of you. You think you can keep going and everything can be OK, but the problem is if something pops out or there’s a car stopped, anything can really happen,” Yeates said. “There isn’t much monitoring and there isn’t much in front of you. It seems like it’s completely safe, but it’s not.”

Yeates, who started his first week at SUNY Albany this week, is recovering well. The brain injury has not impaired him, he said.

“I have more of an appreciation for life now that I realize how quickly it can go and how easy it can go,” Yeates said. “It doesn’t even have to be something that you know can happen, it can just jump out at you.”

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