Traffic officials encourage safety at highway intersections afte - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Traffic officials encourage safety at highway intersections after fatal wreck on Hwy. 69

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POLLOK, TX (KTRE) -

Wednesday family and friends remembered 18-year-old Leah McDonald, a young woman killed Tuesday in a wreck at the FM 2021 intersection on Highway 69.

 "She knew how to make you smile no matter what she was just fun to be around," said Hannah Spillers, McDonald's best friend.

McDonald was the passenger in a vehicle that turned on to the highway and safety officials say these accidents can be avoided when drivers double check their surroundings.

 "Look, Look again, make sure that before you pull out you can do so safely," said David Hendry, DPS Spokesperson.

TxDOT officials say warning signs were placed at the FM 2021 intersection about five years ago to warn drivers to look both ways before entering a major highway."

 "If you're coming on those major highways with high traffic you do have to wait," said Kathi White, TxDOT Spokesperson.

Steel Horses Owner John Williams says he's been in business near the intersection for 10 years and says they see at least one to two wrecks each month.

 "All of a sudden we'll hear a boom or a crash and we automatically know what it is, there is no question there has been another wreck," said Williams.

Williams says a red light of anything to help prevent these accidents would be nice but says drivers at the intersection should proceed with caution.

 "It's mostly the traffic that's crossing 2021 that pullout in front of the cars that's what causes most of the wrecks," said Williams.

Safety officials say don't take any unnecessary risks and McDonald's best friend Hannah Spillers believes a second look at the highway may have saved her friend's life.

 "Just be aware that's it, look both ways even if you're laughing, having a conversation, look both ways because you never know what could be around the corner," said Spillers.

The driver of the vehicle 20-year-old Nolan Ellingburg was taken by helicopter to a Tyler hospital.

 DPS officials says he will be cited for failure to yield right-of- way.

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