June 15, 1995 – Sept. 8, 2013
A pretty memorial to Anna Schroeder is now the only one visible on U.S. Route 219, between Springville and Ellicottville, Western New York. But this road has a very grim history.
While the actual town of Springville has, in very recent years, been by-passed by an southward extension of the divided highway that comes south from Buffalo, one can still drive the full length of the older, undivided road all the way down to Route 242, about a mile east of Ellicottville. This is a distance of about 18 miles, and a very scenic road it is, too.
But before the divided highway was extended around the edge of Springville, there used to be signs on the 219 southwards, stating how many crashes, injuries and deaths there had been on the road. I regret now that in the eight years we lived near Buffalo, I never took a photograph of those signs because they are no longer there.
However, a search on the Internet pulled up some horrifying statistics from a 2002 article in the Buffalo News. The situation was so bad that the ‘U.S. Route 219 Victims Memorial Committee’ was formed, and in the ten years prior to 2002, the group documented a stunning 86 fatalities and more than 1,300 crashes. The committee “raised money and erected five signs on the road to raise awareness on [sic] the number of fatalities and accidents” on what was described in the article as “the 28 miles of road.”
The photograph and details in this post regarding Anna Schroeder were added by Road Safety USA, and not her family. If any of Anna’s family or friends see this and wish to add details and/or other photographs, you will be very welcome to do so.