Residents Plea For A Change At What They Say Is An Unsafe Intersection - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/16/04

Residents Plea For A Change At What They Say Is An Unsafe Intersection

Cries for change in Lubbock County after an accident pins a young boy inside his father's pickup. The father and son were rushed to University Medical Center after an accident on farm to market roads 1729 and 40.

Just before noon on Thursday, DPS troopers say a truck hit the passenger side of the man's pickup, then struck three other vehicles parked on the side of the road. The collision pinned the man's 8-year-old son in the pickup. Jaws of life cut into the vehicle for nearly 20 minutes before the boy was freed. We currently do not know his or his father's condition. Thursday's accident is just the latest at what some Lubbock County residents say is a dangerous intersection.

Flowers remain on a pole near the intersection after a fatal accident that happened just last month. And residents say after witnessing numerous wrecks, it's time for a change.

"It could be me, or my wife and it is my loved ones, I'm the pastor of this community and I love these people," explains Don McMahan. He says he has witnessed nine wrecks and at least two fatalities in the past year. "We need to do something, get us a four-way stop or something, I talked to an engineer out here the other day and he says well we haven't killed enough people yet to justify a four-way stop."

McMahan plea remains unanswered and he says this accident is just another testimony of what could be prevented if a four-way stop signal was placed here. "When they were trying to get that little boy out of there, tears were running down my cheeks, it's pretty tough watching these people bleed and get hurt because the highway department won't put up a four-way stop here," he says.

"Every time my kids leave the house I'm scared to death at this corner," says Corrine Walker who lives just one mile away from the intersection, forced to witness a number of accidents as well. "I've come across two real severe accidents this year and it really does something to the inside of you to have to look at that and do what you can do," she says some improvements have been put into place, but it's not enough. "They put this flashing, big stop sign in and it doesn't do any good, people are still running it," she observes.

She adds that's creating a dangerous situation for businesses who operate on the corner. "I've had cars and pickups flying through the driveway after accidents, I've seen three bad wrecks here this summer," says Steve Smith who owns Reddi Mart, just across from where the accident took place, and he says until something changes, this won't be the last. "It makes you nervous because you hear all these noises and you think they're coming in," he says.

NewsChannel 11 spoke with TexDot and a four way stop sign will be placed at the intersection by the end of next week. That's because after last month's fatal accident, a traffic study was conducted and since there have been at least five accidents at the intersection, the change will be made.

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