Authorities Investigate Deadly Hit and Run - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

06/05/06 - Angelina County

Authorities Investigate Deadly Hit and Run

by Ramonica R. Jones

"Probably about ten, maybe; more than ten, probably," said Pinal Patel.

That's how many wrecks Pinal Patel has seen during the three years he's worked at the corner store on Highway 59 and FM 2021.

"They need to slow the traffic down, basically," Patel said. "It doesn't matter if they put traffic lights [at the intersection], people [are] still gonna run over traffic lights."

Vince Rampelberg's only lived at the intersection for a couple years. He's seen several of the crashes that have happened here, but he calls Sunday's hit and run unforgettable. Sabrina and Jason Dykes are in jail charged with failure to render aid and tampering with physical evidence.

"It was pretty horrible," said Rampelberg. "The motorcycle flipped at least ten or 12, 15 feet in the air and then when the guy landed, he never moved for the whole time until the ambulance got there."

Rampelberg estimates there's at least one severe wreck there every 60 days. The last deadly crash happened back in January. Less than a day later, another wreck happened in the same spot. Rampelberg believes the speed limit there should be lowered from 60 to 45 miles an hour.

"It's always failure to yield," said Rampelberg. "People just don't seem to see each other and I think they're going too fast at this intersection, I really do. People just don't slow down."

Putting a traffic light at the intersection would cost about $200,000. Highway authorities said it would also cause other problems like rear-end accidents because it's such a high speed area.

Jeffrey Myrick of Nacogdoches died at a hospital after Sunday's wreck. His wife, Becky Myrick, is in stable condition.

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