AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - We saw an epidemic of cars crashing into buildings last year, including an accident that killed two people inside the Cheeburger Cheeburger restaurant in Amherst.
The Family Dollar, Kenwin Liquor, Cheeburger Cheeburger: all three had cars crash into them and months later, all three have similar outcomes - there is still nothing protecting these businesses from another car plowing through the storefront.
Ken Wienckowski said, "Nobody wants to spend the money. That's the truth."
Wienckowski says he saw the aftermath of the accident at Kenwin Liqour in Amherst. He says concrete bollards should be installed to offer protection to patrons inside, but he also sees the other side of the story.
"I mean, everyone's hurting, so no one's spending the money on it until it becomes a law. Then you're going to have to do it. That's what it always boils down to," he opined.
The Amherst Town Board had discussed putting those bollards in front of buildings after the deadly accident at Cheeburger Cheeburger on Niagara Falls Boulevard that left two people dead and a boy orphaned.
Attorney Lawlor Quinlan explains, there is a cost-benefit scale businesses have to weigh, when it comes to that level of protection.
"There's a question as to whether these protective barriers are necessary. The question is: What do you need to do to respond to that kind of risk? Does the risk justify the cost of putting in protective barriers?" he questioned.
A civil lawsuit is now pending against Cheeburger Cheeburger.
Quinlan noted, "Cheeburger Cheeburger would not be admitting wrongdoing by installing the barriers. But they're certainly not required to do so by the law. In fact, if they did make a change afterwards, that sort of a change would be kept out of any lawsuit against Cheeburger."
But after doing some digging, News 4 has learned it could be months before the issue is even addressed again in Amherst, an issue that would only increase public safety.
News 4 reached out to Benderson Development, who owns the Cheeburger Cheeburger property, to see if those bollards would be installed. Our calls went unanswered.
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