VA secretary told of W. Haven safety issues

Veterans hospital in West Haven. (File)


WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A little more than two weeks after another pedestrian was struck by a driver on the campus of the West Haven VA hospital, and after a News 8 report, the issue has been brought directly to the United States Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs.

Related Content: Senator blasts VA over pedestrian safety

“The secretary committed to me, personally, face-to-face, that there will be construction,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), ranking member of the Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee.

Back in 2013, an elderly man was struck and killed by a driver at the same intersection. News 8 learned of another incident where a doctor reporting to work, was also run down in the same intersection in December of 2014. Dr. Betsy Schulman wass called in to the intersection by a crossing guard, then seconds later is run down by a driver. Blumenthal notified Secretary Robert McDonald of the News 8 report.

Related Content: Another person hit by car at VA

“In my conversation with him face-to-face, he said to me, we’re going to do whatever’s necessary,” Blumenthal said. “And I’m going to hold him to that.”

Nearly two years ago, a federal traffic study was completed. Several recommendations were made, like raising the pedestrian crosswalk and creating a turning lane out of the main parking lot. Many of those recommendations have not been implemented.

“I raised this issue directly with Secretary McDonald and he committed to me that they would take steps immediately to reconstruct whatever needs to be done.”

Blumenthal said he will contact Secretary McDonald again later this week to follow up on how to execute the traffic improvements.

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