State adds safety feature to Watson intersection following deadly crash

State adds safety feature to Watson intersection following deadly crash
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

WATSON, LA (WAFB) - An intersection in Watson, La. that locals have come to call "dangerous" has gotten the attention of the state.

After someone died at Highway 16 and Cane Market Road two weeks ago, the Department of Transportation and Development responded with a traffic upgrade.

Business is building around the intersection. Residents warmly welcomed Walmart two years ago. The development, as expected, brought more traffic to the area.

Watson native Robbie Harrison said he has noticed not everyone obeys the rules of the road.

"It's pretty bad. There's always an accident, and generally I think it involved people trying to turn left," Harrison said.

On July 1, 68-year-old Charles Sons, Jr. died when police said a woman driving a Chevy Malibu, 46-year-old Lisa Meek, failed to yield as Sons passed through the intersection. Some workers at a nearby gas station said the crash shook their core.

"I've never seen people die in front of me like that before," Komlan Denou said.

"Oh my God. Very, very bad. Sad," another worker said.

State Representative Valerie Hodges said the victim, Sons, was a close friend. She said after getting flooded with posts from concerned citizens on Facebook, she took action.

"Monday morning I called DOTD and said, 'you have got to get there immediately because there was an accident between the time Junior died and another accident there," Rep. Hodges said.

The DOTD responded in less than 48 hours by adding a turn arrow to the traffic signal.

"This is a busy intersection, but it has a green arrow or green light too. This makes it consistent with the other intersections within this stretch of highway,"
Harrison said.

It is too late to know whether it may have saved Sons' life, but residents believe the simple change will help point confused drivers in the right direction.

Rep. Hodges said she is also working to get the state to replace a broken stop sign on Highway 1019 and Perkins Road in Denham Springs.

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