Boone County residents show concern after Highway 124 fatalities

9 months 2 weeks 4 days ago Thursday, November 03 2016 Nov 3, 2016 Thursday, November 03, 2016 1:05:00 PM CDT November 03, 2016 in News
By: Hannah Husmann, KOMU 8 News
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HALLSVILLE - Northern Boone County residents are not happy after two more fatalities on Highway 124 Wednesday.

The highway enters Hallsville from the west and turns north toward Centralia. Hallsville resident Debbie George said Route B, which enters the town from the south and turns into Highway 124, is just as big a problem.

"I can't tell you how many cars have flipped in our ditch all because people pull out in front of people," George said.

The crash Wednesday happened between Hallsville and Centralia on the 60 mph, two-lane highway. But George said expanding the highway won't fix the problem.

"It's people's habits behind the wheel. To me, the only way to fix it would be to put in stoplights. Then they would be forced to stop," George said.

Hallsville resident Terry Montague shared on Facebook a close call he experienced.

"A car decided to pass me with oncoming traffic. There was a car in front of me and he was trying to squeeze in between me and the car that were coming to a stop," Montague said. "The person was in a big hurry just to be at the same place as we all were at the same time."

Centralia resident Sheanna Crane drove up on the fatal crash Wednesday and said it made her nervous.

"I'm going to be driving to Columbia more frequently in the next couple weeks on my way to work and back, and I'm going to be coming back late at night, and it makes me want to take a different route just because it scares me," Crane said.

Crane said cell phones could be part of the problem.

"I just wish people would be more cautious and be more safe and think about others and just stay off their phones until they get to where they're going," Crane said.

George said the highway's problems aren't limited to between Hallsville and Centralia.

"This stretch from 3M all the way into Centralia, it really is horrible. It's a lack of responsibility of what people should be doing while they're driving," George said.

George has lived in Hallsville with her family for decades.

"We have talked to a number of people, over 30 years, and at least asked them to lower the speed limit," George said.

According to MoDot's website, Wednesday's crash is the second and third fatalities since August on the stretch of Highway 124 just north of Hallsville.

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