Neighbors want intersection changed after too many accidents

3 years 11 months 1 week ago Monday, July 14 2014 Jul 14, 2014 Monday, July 14, 2014 3:03:00 PM CDT July 14, 2014 in Coverage From Callaway
By: Brittany Rendak, KOMU 8 Reporter
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CALLAWAY COUNTY - William Hill is tired of seeing and hearing accidents in front of his home and is concerned about safety of his neighbors nearby.

The intersection is where Route Z and Route JJ intersect northeast of Fulton. Residents said it is unsafe and something needs to change.

Patty Erwin's nephew and three children were involved in an accident at this intersection on June 28.

Erwin said the intersection places slow-moving vehicles in the path of oncoming traffic that is going 45 miles per hour--or more.

"The speed limit through here is 45 miles per hour but my understanding, especially at night time we know sometimes people don't follow the speed limit and then they can come up on them and then end up having an accident. That is what concerns me, the layout; it is not straight through," Erwin said.

Erwin's nephew's car ended up landing upside down in the yard next to the intersection.

Hill has lived at the intersection for a couple of years and said this is the third time a car has landed in his yard. Hill actually witnessed the most recent accident and was able to help rescue the family.

"I came out to let my dog out and I walked behind me and a car pulled up to the stop sign then stopped then I heard tires squalling so I looked up and another car was going head on to him. He had skid all the way into my yard. When he hit my ditch, it flipped the car upside down," Hill said.

Hill said his instincts kicked in to help rescue the children and their father from the car to get them to safety.

He has photos of tire marks and cars flipped over near and on his property.

Hill said one problem is that it is a curved intersection and drivers have to pull out almost two car lengths into the road after the stop sign to be able to see both ways.

"I definitely think four-way stop signs would be great. Anywhere after nine at night everybody disobeys the law because it is dark and I like to sit out on my porch. Cars fly through here squalling tires into the gas station parking lot doing doughnuts. It is totally unsafe, way unsafe," Hill said.

Trent Brooks, the central district traffic engineer for MoDOT, said the agency routinely reviews serious crashes to see if locations are experiencing issues, but that this intersection is not one that has came to its attention yet.

"If anyone has any concerns with an intersection they can contact us and we will review the area, look at the crash history, kind of see what is going on. We will visit the site. We might even count the amount of traffic that is using the intersection really just to see if anything needs to be changed," Brooks said.

Brooks said most of the time MoDOT learns about problems from the public and then sees if something needs to be changed.

Erwin said she would like MoDOT to see what it can change about the intersection to make it safer.

"Our general review of it showed that there wasn't a lot happening there. We didn't find any serious crashes that occurred there in the last five years. We do understand there was one a couple of weeks ago and I believe there was one injury and we can review that," Brooks said.

Erwin and Hill would like to see a four-way stop at this intersection.

"We would have to look at it we would consider something like that if we thought it was the right solution. Just adding stop signs isn't always the right answer. We look at what's happening the amount of traffic that we are trying to move and if something needs to be done we would look at making a change," Brooks said.

Erwin said she just wants something and anything to happen before another accident occurs.

"I hope that nobody else has to get hurt out here before somebody does something such as MoDOT taking a look at it to see if they can put in any type of cautions or stop signs or stop light, or even reduced speed down even lower. I don't know what it's going to take but I sure hope it doesn't take someone's family member in an accident over here," Erwin said.

Hill said there is a reduced speed limit before the intersection, but he sees people disobey it all the time.

Brooks said that if anyone has a concern about an intersection to call MoDOT and investigators would come and review that intersection.

An employee at Twillman Feed Services said the intersection has been a problem for so long and he hasn't seen anything done to make it safer.

Erwin plans to get in contact with MoDOT as soon as possible in hopes to eliminate her further concerns.

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