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Examining Ohio's Dangerous Intersections
NEW CARLISLE -- Nearly one thousand Ohioans are killed in crashes every year, and 40% of them happen at intersections.
One of the most dangerous ones in the state is right here in the Miami Valley.
But what's being done to make sure more lives are not lost? Our Hilary Zalla went to find out.
"It's just so easy, in the blink of an eye," says Tammy Walkup, who lost her brother-in-law.
Skid marks and three crosses at the corner of State Routes 235 and 41 in new Carlisle are reminders for Tammy and Scott Walkup that life is precious.
"He had a laughter that would fill the room," says Scott.
Scott's brother Tracy was driving to work one morning. Hours later, Scott and his wife were told the unthinkable, "that my brother has been involved in a fatal car accident, and uh, yeah, pretty much it..."
It's been a year and driving the intersection doesn't get any easier for the couple.
State Routes 235 and 41 is considered the most dangerous intersection in the Miami Valley. On average, there is a fatal crash there at least once every two years.
Jeff Caldwell, a retired homicide reconstruction officer who now owns Professional Driving Systems, says "your job it to try to get on the road and be safe."
He adds most of the danger most likely comes from drivers going too fast not paying attention.
The biggest problem at that intersection is right angle crashes, where the driver and passengers get T-boned.
Scott notes they've tried rumble strips, traffic lights, and excavating the area. Tammy believes, "it's time something a little more drastic is done so other people don't lose a loved one."
ODOT District Traffic Engineer Craig Eley says, "we look at locations that are safety concerns of the public."
Eley says ODOT has been looking at the intersection of 235 and 41 for a while. Next summer, they plan to start building a roundabout.
"The crashes will be less severe, if there are even crashes," says Eley.
ODOT says it should almost completely prevent fatal crashes, which is something Scott and Tammy hope for everyday.
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