Deadly intersection prompts MDOT to make changes - WNEM TV 5

Deadly intersection prompts MDOT to make changes

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A deadly intersection in Mid-Michigan has claimed another life, prompting calls for something to be done about it.

The intersection has been flagged by the Michigan Department of Transportation for needed safety improvements.

In just the last five days, two people have died in separate crashes at the intersection of M-57 and Irish Road in Genesee County’s Forest Township.

“I was just heartbroken. He was like my dad,” said Jason Bender.

Bender is dealing with the tragic loss of a man he said he looked up to.

Police said Raymond Griggs died after his car was broadsided by another driver that went through a stop sign.

“I love him, man. He was my best friend,” Bender said.

Griggs was the second person to die at the intersection in just five days.

On June 5, a driver was killed after failing to stop.

Bender said something needs to be done about the dangerous intersection.

“I know I’ve seen accidents here over the years,” he said.

According to MDOT, there have been 29 crashes at the intersection from 2007 to 2017. Twenty-six of those were a result of someone failing to yield the right of way.

In all, there were three injuries and one death. But now, two more deaths have been added to the toll in 2018.

“Most of the problem is the people north and southbound don’t stop,” said Robert Guly, neighbor.

Guly has lived near the intersection for years.

“What I think they should do is put rumble strips. It alerts people to say, ‘I need to stop,’” Guly said.

MDOT is looking at ways to make the intersection safer.

“Right now, we intend to install additional stop signs on the M-57 corridor, which would bring that intersection up to a four-way stop,” said Jocelyn Hall, spokesperson for MDOT.

Hall said flashing lights, additional stop signs and “cross traffic does not stop” warnings have been posted. She said every effort will be made to improve safety at the intersection.

“Adding temporary rumble strips and then also most likely also including some portable message boards for at least the first few weeks that that new stop sign is there,” Hall said.

Hall said MDOT plans to turn the intersection into a roundabout by the year 2022.

As for Bender, he hopes the changes will stop someone else from enduring the grief he is going through right now.

“I’m at a loss for words. I don’t even know what to say man,” Bender said.

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