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Victim Identified in Hamburg Fatal Crash | News

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Victim Identified in Hamburg Fatal Crash
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HAMBURG, N.Y. - Police have identified the man who crashed into the boulders at the new roundabout on South Park and Big Tree Friday morning.

The victim is 54-year-old Kenneth D. Braun of South Park Avenue in Blasdell. Braun was the owner of the vehicle in the accident. He was identified by the Medical Examiners Office through Dental Records.

The accident is still under investigation.

It happened at about 1:30 Friday morning. The driver was the only person in the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.  An accident reconstruction team is working to determine how fast the driver was going when he hit the roundabout.

Investigators believe Braun was heading north on South Park Avenue when his pickup truck collided with decorative boulders in the middle of the roundabout and flipped in the air, landing in the southbound lane. 

Even though roundabouts often face resistance from the public when they are first implemented, transportation officials say roundabouts are safer than traditional intersections with traffic lights.

Susan Surdej, spokeswoman for the NYS Department of Transportation, said roundabouts only have eight conflict points as opposed to 32 in a traditional intersection.  A conflict point is a location where there is an opportunity for a collision.

"I'd say in the past ten years, you've seen an increase in modern roundabouts just because research has proven that they are safer, so we have started implementing them in New York State," said Surdej.  "And we have started implementing them successfully, we are seeing a reduction in accident rates in those intersections where there are modern roundabouts."

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