Poplarville officials trying to find solution to deadly intersection

Poplarville officials trying to find solution to deadly intersection

POPLARVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Business is booming at Love's truck stop, and everyone seems to love Love's.

"We definitely appreciate their business being here," said Poplarville Mayor Rossie Creel. "They've brought a lot to our community."

But the increased truck traffic at a critical point is creating a nightmare for residents, and the crash litter is a constant reminder of that. The intersection right at Highway 26 and the Interstate 59 off ramp is one of the most dangerous in the region. Since 2015, 32 accidents have happened here, many with injuries and two fatalities. The problem is, officials say there is no money to do anything about it.

Trucks trying to get to the truck stop exit Interstate 59 and turn west at Highway 26. Officials would like to see a traffic light or a four-way stop.

"I think we've got to petition our legislators to earmark some funds for infrastructure and highway improvement for safety," Creel said.

MDOT engineer Kelly Castleberry said until money is available for a more permanent solution, the state will likely recommend a reduction of the speed limit down from 55.

He said a study is currently underway, but he doesn't know when it will be complete.

Police Chief Butch Raby said the Mississippi Highway Patrol has pitched in to help his department which is already stretched thin.

This issue is personal for the Chief. He knew one of the people who died at the intersection.

"When you know that person and their family and you're having to talk to the family afterwards, it's difficult," he explained.

In the meantime, it has gotten the attention of motorists who drive the route often.
"I know that it's dangerous," said student Shanya Fair. "So, I just try to drive carefully as possible and look out for others, and I hope others are doing the same."

Seth Wedgeworth's business is right next to the intersection.
"If you stay long enough, especially here around this intersection, you will catch either somebody slamming on brakes, or skidding their tires, or crashing," he said.

And he is very familiar with the horrific sounds of a crash. The latest was a fatality.

What went through his mind when he heard it?

Said Wedgeworth answered, "Here we go again."

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