Tragedy struck within feet of the LCHS campus August 31. Two people were killed in a fatal wreck at the Minuteman Drive intersection with Rt. 19.
Tragedy struck within feet of the LCHS campus August 31. Two people were killed in a fatal wreck at the Minuteman Drive intersection with Rt. 19. WBOY News reported that a vehicle coming from Little Skin Creek Road attempted to cross Rt. 19 to Minuteman Drive when the vehicle collided with a vehicle traveling Rt. 19 South. This resulted with two fatalities.
What a lot of students and the public (doesn’t) understand is US Rt. 19 always has the right of way,” Sgt. Mike Cayton, Lewis County Sheriff’s Deputy and LCHS PRO officer, said.
This intersection has since then brought major concern to both students and faculty of LCHS.
In an informal survey, many students said this intersection causes driver confusion, and many said they don’t know who has the right of way.
Plus, some students said it is dangerous when buses and large trucks use the road and block visibility, particularly when someone is turning left from Rt. 19S.
“It’s more confusing than it is complicated. Because people pull out in front of me,“ Katy Hall, senior, said.
“No. It’s one of the easier things,” Tyler Moore, senior, said about the intersection.
“It’s not a bad intersection; it’s a crowded intersection at school dismissal,” Mr. Matt Gillespie, driver’s education teacher, said.
The intersection in question involves traffic coming from LCHS on Minuteman Drive and crossing Rt. 19 either to go onto Rt. 19 or Little Skin Creek Road. It also includes two stops and a yield and a a left-turn lane. There is also a small incline coming from Skin Creek and a large sharp grade and bridge coming from Minuteman Drive.
Sgt. Cayton said that the confusion often comes with the right of way, stating that Rt. 19 always has the right of way.
The longtime LCHS Pro-Officer said his concern with the intersection has been ongoing for quite some time.
To combat these concerns Sgt. Cayton said he is trying to improve the intersection by adding a traffic light.
He said he is working with the county commission and few officers in an effort to try “to get a stop light put in.”
“At first we tried to contact MonPower and DOH to light up the intersection better,” Sgt Cayton, said.
At the present time, there is not additional lighting evident at the intersection.
He said he is working with Principal Mr. John Whiston about how to improve the safety of it. Whiston made an intersection awareness announcement the Tuesday following the fatal weekend announcement.
“The superintendent (and I) have talked about it, and they left it up to me” as to what to do about the safety issues.
Students said they have mixed feelings about a traffic light.
Some said it is not really needed when school isn’t in session while others feel differently.
“I think putting a stop light at the intersection would help.” Hannah Herrod, senior, said.
“People don’t stop even when they don’t have the right of way.” Kaelye Crook, senior, said.
“Yes. We need one,” Chelsie Kincaid, senior, concluded.