Lee may have missed stop sign The popular KYW-TV news anchor died in an auto accident Sunday. The site was due for a stoplight.

Posted: October 30, 2001

SCHUYLKILL TOWNSHIP — KYW-TV news anchor Siani Lee likely missed a stop sign at a Chester County intersection Sunday afternoon, moments before her fatal crash with an approaching SUV, authorities said yesterday.

Lee, 39, apparently was not wearing a seat belt when her Mercedes and a Nissan Pathfinder crashed at the intersection of Country Club and Valley Park Roads in Schuylkill Township, Chester County Coroner Rodger Rothenberger said. Rothenberger added that he was not sure whether wearing a seat belt would have saved Lee's life because the SUV hit the driver's side of Lee's vehicle.

Schuylkill County officials said the intersection had been the scene of numerous "fender-benders" over the years, with injuries but no fatalities. Installation of a traffic light, approved earlier this month, is only weeks away, they said.

Friends speculated that Lee was driving through Schuylkill Township on Sunday to check on a house she was building near Valley Forge National Historical Park. Earlier in the day, family members said, she had Sunday brunch with her boyfriend and his family at a nearby golf club.

Grieving relatives and coworkers struggled to compose themselves yesterday as shock waves rippled through Philadelphia media circles and the Korean American community.

"She was more than a journalist - she was a super-journalist," said Larry Kane, her coanchor on Eyewitness News at 6 p.m. "There's a big hole in the place today without her."

KYW-TV first informed viewers of Lee's death at 7 a.m. yesterday, at the end of Eyewitness News This Morning. KYW broadcasts throughout the afternoon and evening yesterday included video montages of Lee.

Many of her coworkers learned of her death from a company e-mail that greeted them as they returned from the weekend.

"While this is a very painful time for all of us, I hope we can find some comfort in the joy that Siani brought into the newsroom and into our lives," said the e-mail, written by Marcellus Alexander, KYW-TV vice president and general manager.

According to police, Lee was driving south on Country Club Road about 2:20 p.m. Sunday in her Mercedes E320 when she apparently did not see the stop sign. Her car traveled through the intersection and entered the path of the Pathfinder, which was traveling west. Both drivers were believed to be driving below the posted 40-m.p.h. speed limit.

The driver of the Pathfinder, whose name has not been released, was treated at Phoenixville Hospital, Rothenberger said.

Jonathan Gelb's e-mail address is jgelb@phillynews.com.

Authorities suspect Lee did not see a stop sign. B3.

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