A Prospect family is mourning the loss of their 84-year-old father who was killed in a car crash on Saturday.
They believe his death could have been avoided.
Carmen Santoro was driving his wife, Dorothy, to lunch when their car was suddenly struck by another vehicle at the intersection of Porter Hill Road and Straitsville Road.
The couple lived on Porter Hill Road for decades and had made the turn onto Straitsville hundreds of times.
But this time proved deadly.
Carmen’s car was struck by another as he turned left. The crash left him dead and Dorothy with neck injuries.
“It was bound to happen, it was an accident waiting to happen,” said their son, Dave Santoro Sr.
Santoro says the family had complained of poor visibility at the intersection for years and were concerned about potential danger.
Unfortunately their worst fears came true.
He says neither the town nor his neighbor on the corner acted to remedy the sight-line problems.
Santoro believes changes to the roadway–such as the installation of a mirror or even trimming of trees–could have prevented the crash.
“I think he’d be alive today. I think it would have been avoided.”
However, the trees were not trimmed and a mirror was never installed.
“I think they wanted to do something about it.. but nothing was ever really done. It was a back-burner type thing,” said Santoro.
Mayor Robert Chatfield knew Carmen Santoro and sends his sympathies to the family.
Chatfield told the Waterbury Republican-American that he has received letters about the poor sight-line. He also noted that the town rebuilt part of the road a few years ago.
But he did put some blame on the house on the corner for obstructing the view.
That homeowner asked Fox CT News to not show him on camera, but he did say he wants the town to put up a stop sign and denied that taming his trees would have helped.
Meanwhile, Dave Santoro Sr. says he blames both that homeowner and the town, and vows to do whatever it takes to make the streets safer.
“I cannot give up. I’ve got my father’s honor now. I have to–my father’s memory–I’ve got to do something.”