ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Wednesday was a busy night on the Washington Avenue Extension, but a somber one as well.
Friends and family of Greg Skinner gathered on Wednesday to pay their respects to the 21-year-old taken much too soon.
Skinner had quite the reputation.
“He was a friend to everybody,” said Greg’s mom Debra Abram-Cioppa. “He always had a smile. He always had a joke.”
Skinner was killed last Friday, crossing an intersection on the Washington Avenue Extension. A car traveling in the Eastbound lane struck him around 7:15 p.m. Skinner succumbed to his injuries a short time afterward.
His family and friends gathered to remember Skinner Thursday, saying he still had so much life left ahead of him. They say the accident could have been prevented.
“From Wal-Mart, TJ Maxx, to the big shopping malls across the street, perhaps if there was a big pedestrian bridge like they have other places, then things like this wouldn’t happen,” said Greg’s uncle, Justin Skinner.
Justin noted the 55 mph speed limit at the intersection. With so many pedestrians crossing, he says alternate measures should be taken to ensure their safety.
Commuters who take the bus at a nearby stop say they find the intersection very dangerous and want to see changes to made to improve the safety of the area.
Christopher Torres works near the intersection. He crosses the street every day and he agrees that changes need to be made.
“The lights need to be held on red longer,” said Torres. “They need to give more people more time to cross the street.”
After hearing the news about Skinner, Torres even bought himself a bright headlamp that changes colors and flashes red and white. He says he’s not taking any chances.
Skinner’s friends say they now hope something is done so that tragedies like Skinner’s death don’t happen again.
“A young man has died because of a car accident,” said Nakaya Brown, Greg’s friend. “This street should be made in remembrance of him.”