Like most school days, Mikayla Gaspar's elementary school bus dropped her off in front of her house a few weeks ago — but her day changed to anything but average the moment she stepped off the vehicle.
“I had my back turned,” Mikayla said, “but then I heard a really loud bang.”
The bang was the sound of a in front of her home near the intersection of Park Avenue and Lake Road in Huntington. The truck was propelled into the bus after side swiping a Honda sedan in a rollover accident June 7.
Mikayla, on crutches, led the students from the bus into her house nearby to wait for the authorities to arrive. One student reported minor neck pain , she said. The drivers of the bus and Honda suffered multiple injuries, according to police.
And though the bus accident seems like a rare incident, its a normal scenario for crashes to occur at that location, according to Mikayla. “It’s not usually this bad but it happens at least once a week.”
Just two days before the bus accident, another crash occurred near the same location.
Jeff Gaspar, Mikayla's father, said accidents have been a frequent occurrence for the family to endure since the family moving there 15 years ago.
“I remember one Christmas day my daughter was about four months old and a Jeep just crashed into our house,” said the worried father, who says he has had to replaced his mailbox at least a dozen times as a result of numerous accidents near his home.
According to the elder Gaspar, a "few hundred" accidents have occurred at the intersection at the time he has lived there because of impatient drivers trying to pass on a section of road that desperately needs a traffic signal.
The lack of a light has been more than an inconvenience for the Gaspar family.
“I’ve had to wait 15 minutes just to get out of my driveway,” said Gaspar. “My dog’s even been killed in front of my house.”
Gaspar said he will speak at the next Town Board meeting to demand installation of a traffic light or increased police surveillance to monitor speeding to help prevent more accidents — or something much worse.
Town spokesperson A.J. Carter said Suffolk County is responsible for this section of Park Avenue.
“My daughter came within two or three feet of being severely injured,” he said. “What’s it gonna take?”