Legislator pushes for changes at deadly intersection

Published: Apr. 17, 2014 at 1:18 AM CDT
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Fatal crash that occurred on March 2, 2014
Fatal crash that occurred on March 2, 2014
Sen. Sharon Weston Broome
Sen. Sharon Weston Broome

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - There's a dangerous intersection along Scenic Highway, and some say it needs immediate attention. The state says they've already studied it, but now a local legislator is getting involved to try and get more done.

On March 2, 2014 27-year-old Timothy Lee was killed in a car crash at the intersection of Scenic Highway and Thomas Road. Baton Rouge Police determined Lee was buckled up, and that speed and impairment were not factors.

Lee was hit when he pulled from a stop sign on Thomas Rd. into the median of Scenic Hwy. Scenic is a four-lane highway with two lanes running north and two south. Individual signal lights blink yellow on Scenic and red on Thomas.

"Recently a young man was killed, but he's not the only one who's been a victim of that intersection," Sen. Sharon Weston Broome told the Senate Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works on Wednesday.

Broome said her constituents are concerned, so she introduced a concurrent resolution asking the Department of Transportation and Development to take action to make the intersection safer. It does not offer a specific recommendation.

"I plan to be in constant contact with the Department of Transportation and Development to see what will be their plan of action as it relates to Thomas Rd. and Scenic Hwy. that intersection," Broome said.

Laura Williams works at the Chevron station on the corner of the two roads. She said in her seven years there she's seen more accidents than she can count, some of them deadly.

"That's the problem, the lanes of traffic," Williams said. "There's nothing there to stop you, because once they keep going and going, they are not going to see you because it's dark out there. It's real dark on that corner, so we do need a red light there."

On Wednesday DOTD released this statement to 9NEWS:

"The safety of the traveling public is DOTD's number one priority. The department is constantly working to identify ways to improve safety on Louisiana's roadways.

We completed a traffic study last year, which showed that this intersection did not meet the traffic volume requirements for a signal. However, we worked with the city-parish to sign Thomas Road to direct the traffic to La. 19 so that they can take a right to head south instead of going to U.S. 61 and turning left to go south. These signs are currently in place.

The department plans to continue investigating other options for improving safety at this intersection for the drivers who use it each day."

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