Nearly one year after a fatal crash on Route 222 in Maidencreek Township, Pennsylvania, claimed the life of a 45-year-old Richmond resident, the Reading Eagle reports on updates to the case.

A press conference was held by Berks County, Pennsylvania District Attorney John T. Adams, and Police Chief Scott W. Eaken, to discuss the dangers of driving on Route 222 The officials also announced that a New Jersey man has been charged with homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter and other related charges, in the fatal crash that some had called one of the most horrific accidents the congested highway has ever seen.

The crash took place when a tractor-trailer rear-ended and squashed a stopped car into the stopped truck in front of it. The woman in the car perished, and three others were injured, including one that is still undergoing treatment and surgeries, nearly one year later. Police report that the driver of the tractor-trailer never braked before ramming into the vehicles in front of him, and was traveling at a speed of 45 to 50 miles per hour at the time of the crash. The vehicles were stopped due to serious traffic backup, a common issue on that particular three-lane stretch of Route 222. Chief Eaken reported that his office has investigated hundreds of accidents in that same spot, and called out the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, who, in his opinion, "has done a lot of talking, but no action on that road." He feels this accident is the final straw, stating, "Route 222 needs to have something done to it."

District Attorney Adams agreed to the issue of the roadway, claiming that he believes other innocent lives will be lost due to traffic accidents if the roadway isn't corrected. He explained that the addition of a fourth lane to the roadway would ease congestion and would allow traffic to get around stopped vehicles in the other three lanes, and called upon drivers to be especially careful, stating that he "can't express enough the need to use caution on that road." Both agreed that those who know and frequent the highway have a greater responsibility to drive safely.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation responds

Feeling like the target of criticism, and the receiver of a great deal of the blame for this particular accident and many others, a representative from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation responded to the criticism offered by the Police Chief and District Attorney, explaining that lack of time and funding have been responsible for the delay in making any changes to the notoriously dangerous highway.

Opposition, time and money are all among the factors offered by the Department of Transportation representative, that have led to the delay in fixing the dangerous corridor. He expressed that "to widen 222 is a massive project costing millions of dollars we don't have, and would take many years to do. Without transportation funding, highway projects won't get done." He had a different idea about what caused the fatal accident, stating that it was the result of driver error, and not a design flaw from the road, concluding that "we can't engineer a road to be 100 percent safe."

Driver safety, road conditions and highway design are among the many factors that can play a role in a motor vehicle accident. When an accident happens, consulting with an attorney that is experienced in dealing with motor vehicle accidents can help deliver the best possible results in a case.