Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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Neighbors say ravine is common route for Bills fans

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Buffalo: Neighbors say ravine is common route for Bills fans
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Neighbors near the stadium were saddened, but not surprised by the news of Gerken's death. They told YNN's Katie Cummings the area by the ravine is a common route for Bills fans to take.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Neighbors near Ralph Wilson Stadium say the area where David Gerken was found can be dangerous, and people who live and work at a nearby apartment complex say they see Bills fans there all the time.

"You just see people running through the yards, walking through, climbing up to get through the shortcut so they don’t have to walk all the way around," said Orchard Park resident Kathy Bauer.

"I’ve seen people here all the time and just hear word of mouth from tenants and stuff like that how they cut through here to go to the Bills games," said Orchard Park resident Chris Hartzell.

"My brother, his house is on California Road and there's fairly steep drops into Smokes Creek in that area, and if you did not know where you were going in the middle of the night when it’s very dark out, I could see someone walking into that area," said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

One resident says the incident has provoked discussion among neighbors about making a change.

"This is the first time I’ve ever heard people actually express it to me or voice their opinions to other people that there does need to be something to keep people out of there. I just feel like they should put something up here like a warning sign or a fence," said Orchard Park resident Mary Graham.

Some residents believe the stadium security should have been more proactive while Poloncarz says all the right steps were taken.

"I feel like they had so many drunk people there. They were just trying to focus on making the game a safe place but they do need to focus on what happened to these people after they leave the game too," said Graham.

"I know when they eject people they eject them. What happens afterwards is usually in the hands and control of that individual,” said Poloncarz.

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