Victim’s Family Wants Walkway on Montage Mountain

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SCRANTON -- Family members of a man who was hit by an SUV and killed this summer are looking for a way to honor his memory, and also prevent similar crashes.

They came up with an idea that may have lawmakers on board to change a road in Lackawanna County.

Michael Sanders of Dunmore was hit and killed on Montage Mountain Road by a suspected drunk driver. It happened in August as Sanders was walking away from Toyota Pavilion after a concert.

Sanders was walking along the shoulder of the road. It's a narrow place to walk down a winding and unlit road. Now, his family members are looking to change that.

It was a typical concert night on Montage Mountain in Scranton, but the Sanders family from Dunmore won't soon forget it. Back in August, a woman suspected of driving drunk hit and killed Michael Sanders as he was walking away from Toyota Pavilion. Sanders' family believes he was headed to his car parked down the hill at PNC Field.

"It was very difficult to sit back and watch, and not let anything happen. We had to do something," said Scott Mecca, Sanders cousin.

Mecca and his family are looking for signatures and support to build a walkway along Montage Mountain Road.  It would be about two miles long and run from Toyota Pavilion in Scranton to PNC Field in Moosic.

We may never know why Michael Sanders was walking down Montage Mountain Road, but many people on concert nights walk down the road to get to extra parking at PNC Field instead of using shuttle buses that are provided.

The Sanders do have support from several hundred people who have signed an online petition that they plan to show to politicians.

Montage Mountain Road belongs to Lackawanna County, so officials there would have to get the ball rolling and get the funding.

"I'm going to ask our County Engineer and Director of Roads and Bridges to take a look at it and see how we might make it a reality at some point. Great idea, we don't have a monopoly on those ideas, and I'm glad someone was thinking about it," said Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O'Brien.

Commissioner Corey O'Brien's response was encouraging to Mecca. He said no matter how long it takes, they would like the walkway built in Michael's memory.

"It would be nice to remember him. His daughters could grow up knowing that their father had a walkway named in his honor because of the circumstances of the accident," Mecca added.

Coincidentally, Lackawanna County Commissioners recently requested state money to widen Montage Mountain Road for a bike lane, but that project could be months or years away.

Michael Sanders case is still up in the air. The woman accused of hitting him, Ivy Giordano of Union Dale, has not been charged.

You can find a link to the Sanders' petition here.


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