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Concerts On The Mountain: Only One Way Out

Posted on: 6:06 pm, August 29, 2013, by , updated on: 06:57pm, August 29, 2013

SCRANTON — There have been questions about the safety of pedestrians after a man was hit and killed walking away from a concert on Montage Mountain last weekend.

Authorities believe at this point, there’s not a lot they can do if fans decide to walk back to their cars.

Michael Sanders, 32, of Dunmore was killed on Sunday while walking away from a concert on Montage Mountain. The crash is still under investigation but police say the driver could be charged with DUI or more serious crimes. It’s led law enforcement to think more about how to keep concertgoers safe when they leave Montage Mountain.

According to Scranton police, Ivy Giordano, 23, of Union Dale was leaving the Jason Aldean country music concert a little early when her SUV struck Sanders, who was walking along the side on Montage Mountain Road.

Sanders was killed, and Giordano could face serious criminal charges

Law enforcement officials said the real safety hazards started when the road was shut down to clean up the crash and crowds of concertgoers started walking down the mountain.

“The hard and fast of it is, there’s one road in. If there were multiple roads it would be different. There’s one way into that venue, and if you have multiple events going on on that mountain, it’s going to be slow moving,” said Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Deputy Dominic Manetti.

Deputy Manetti said he and officers from Scranton and Moosic have thought about how to assure such a tragedy never happens again.

Toyota Pavilion on Montage Mountain hosts crowds of close to 20,000 at some of its summer concerts.

Manetti said the bigger the crowd, the more concertgoers walk Montage Mountain Road to get to their cars instead of using the provided shuttle buses. The road is winding, narrow, and unlit and there’s not much law enforcement can do to keep pedestrians off the road when a concert comes to a close.

“It’s almost impossible. You’re talking thousands of people. Usually that doesn’t pose a problem.”

Toyota Pavilion will host its last concert of the season this Sunday. Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson will perform.

Deputy Manetti said law enforcement officials may reassess their security in time for next summer to try and keep people from walking on the road. One idea we heard was to provide more shuttle buses in order to keep the crowds moving.

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