Change could be coming to a dangerous intersection in Columbia County after accidents and deaths

Sunday, September 15, 2019
News 12 at 11 O'Clock

COLUMBIA COUNTY, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Car pieces, metal, glass. One look around Columbia and Louisville Road tells a story of a dangerous intersection.

"I saw the SUV sitting here on the back of the wrecker and it was smashed up pretty badly," Jim Stanton said. "I don't know how anybody survived that accident."

Jim Stanton witnessed the latest crash here on Friday morning, an SUV colliding into a truck, both survived with little to no injuries. It's the latest in a string of crashes that has everyone in the area concerned for their safety.

"I witnessed an accident that happened here about a year and a half ago involving a garbage truck and a family car. That one was deadly," Stanton said.

That was one of two deadly accidents at this spot. The other one was in 2015 when Senator Joey Brush was killed.

But there's also been countless other accidents like back in May when John Harris landed upside down.

"It was completely totaled," John Harris said. "It was upside down. It was just a miracle."

Or 6 years ago when Susie Wilkes was hit at the same spot.

"I thought that this was it," Susie Wilkes said. "I thought, wow, this is the end."

"I truly hope government officials don't wait for a life to be lost to take action. In this case, we know for a fact that we have lost lives right here at this intersection. We're beyond that point," Stanton said. "Something needs to happen."

"It's speed. It's inattention," Columbia County District 4 Commissioner said. "People just not being aware that this can be a dangerous intersection just by its nature. It's no longer a country road, there's a lot of activity and a lot of traffic on it."

District 4 Commissioner Dewey Galeas says the county requested GDOT to put it on the dangerous intersection list. That gives them the power to come take a look and see what can be done.

"I'm not a traffic engineer, but they suggested this would be a great spot for a roundabout at the cost of about 3-million dollars," Galeas said.

But it's a long process on a list of hundreds of requests across the state. Until then, he's taking matters into his own hands.

"Some flashing lights have been ordered for the Louisville road side of this intersection," Galeas said. "They were ordered last week and once we have them, they'll be deployed North and South."

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