Stop signs installed at Lorain County railroad crossing where four Brunswick teens died in wreck

Federal funds to be used to improve road

COLUMBIA STATION, Ohio - STOP!

That's the new sign that greets drivers at a Columbia Station railroad crossing where a deadly crash killed four teenagers.

Along Boston Road, flashing, red stop signs on either side of the train tracks, installed Thursday by Lorain County crews, warn drivers as they approach the crossing.

Earlier this month, four Brunswick High School students were killed when their car flipped as it traveled over the crossing. Ohio State Highway Patrol investigators said driver Jeffrey Chaya was speeding and then lost control.

Columbia Township Trustee Mike Musto told NewsChannel5 the signs are temporary until a new project is completed by the Ohio Department of Transportation. Musto added the plans call for making the crossing less steep, with the area leveled off by about 1,000 feet on either side of the crossing.

"We want to try to make it as safe as we can. We're going to raise the road to meet the tracks," Musto said.

ODOT spokesperson, Christine Meyers, said the state agency is assisting local government to obtain about $200,000 in federal safety funds.

Musto hopes ODOT can make the road improvements within three months.

The stop signs are in addition to caution signs installed about a week after the crash.

Those signs post  "a suggested speed limit" of 25 miles per hour. The actual speed limit is 55 miles per hour.

Musto said the Lorain County Engineer's Office is working on a speed study, hoping to officially reduce the speed limit.

Savana Poerner, who lost her sister, Lexi, in the crash said change can't happen soon enough.

"It's not going to be perfect until they level off the whole road because kids are still going to fly over it," Savana Poerner said.

Brunswick students Jeffrey Chaya and Kevin Fox, both 18, Blake Bartchak, 17, and Lexi Poerner, 16, died as a result of the crash. Julia Romito, 17, was injured and is currently recovering at home.

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