Drivers concerned about fatal Polk Co. crossovers

Source (Polk County Today)
Source (Polk County Today)
Source (Polk County Today)
Source (Polk County Today)

POLK COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Since 2010 crossovers in front of a Polk County truck stop on Highway 59 have been the site of 32 vehicle accidents.

Of the accidents at least four were fatal and in three of the crashes drivers were seriously injured.

William Bertman saw one firsthand. Two weeks ago, an Ohio man was killed when two 18-wheelers collided.

Bertman said that was the fifth accident he's seen in six years of working in the area.

"When the accidents are there I do everything I can to help the people in the accident," said William Bertram, Martinez Heavy Truck.

The area two miles north of Goodrich has already had 11 crashes this year. Locals say that vehicles get caught in the median and are hit by oncoming traffic.

"Its always 18-wheelers coming through here, sometimes it could be unsafe with18-wheelers coming through driving 70 miles an hour with cars pulling out," said Archie McDaniel, driver

DPS Spokesperson David Hendry says it's unlawful to enter roadways when it's unsafe.

"If you're required to cross traffic lanes in order to go the opposite direction then you are only allowed to do that when you can do it in a manner that doesn't interfere with the traffic coming toward you," said Hendry.

Locals believe it comes down to paying attention and learning to share the roadway.

"Regardless of the 18 wheeler or a four wheeler they need to be more attentive of where they're driving," said Bertram.

Areas surrounding the truck stop do have caution signs warning drivers to slow down but some drivers think a traffic light may better manage when cars enter the road.

"If they had a red light here that would help because they would have to stop and everyone would be slowing up for a red light but cars do need to pay more attention," said McDaniel.

TxDot officials say they are planning a meeting to discuss potentially closing the crossovers but until then it's up to drivers to determine if the coast is clear.

"Be patient even though it may take a little bit longer," said Hendry.

In 19 of those crossover crashes no one was injured.

TxDot is planning a meeting to discuss the crossovers for some time in November an exact date hasn't been set.

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