Brothers Marvin and Terry Goree died when a tractor trailer ran a stop sign and hit their pickup at I-27 and North Loop 289 Monday. They were leaving work at Pharr RV when they got into the fatal accident. Their employer says this intersection has had problems for years. Problems TxDOT says they'll work to correct as early as next week.
"If there's a vehicle on your left you can't see the incoming traffic," said Mike Hymer, owner of Pharr RV. At that location for more than a decade, Hymer and the rest of the staff know all too well the trouble at the neighboring intersection.
"We deal with it everyday and it's still dangerous to us. It's kind of one of those deals where you just kind of enter the intersection at your own risk," said Hymer. Hymer says the intersection has had several different configurations over the years. Evidence of which can still be seen with old stop light polls.
"Back in the early 90's I believe they had stop lights on all four sections," Hymer said. However TxDOT says those stop lights were actually more trouble than the stop signs in place now.
"With the stop signs being in place the accident crash rate actually decreased," said TxDOT Engineer Randy Hoppman. "The crash data is showing us that the most common problem up there is failure to yield right away or failure to stop," added Hoppman.
And that's why, in addition to a full engineering study of the intersections, safety precautions will be installed within days. "Put up some larger stop signs, rumble strips across the pavement and then between the rumble strips and the stop signs we want to put the words, stop ahead on the pavement," said Hoppman.
Improvements too late to save Marvin and Terry Goree. "It's been very difficult on everyone here at the company. Everyone's upset about it and everyone grieves with the family," Hymer said.
TxDOT says the rumble strips and the stop signs will go up first. The words "stop ahead" on the road as you approach the intersections will be added later. And NewsChannel 11 will bring you the results of that engineering study and any further safety improvements to these intersections when they become available.
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