Another Accident At Dangerous Saucier Intersection

It's well known, heavily traveled and dangerous. The intersection of Highway 49 and Highway 67 in Saucier has quite a reputation.

Broken car parts and personal belongings that litter the crossing are the telltale signs of the latest tragedy.

Saucier Elementary is located near the intersection. A third grade teacher, on her way to school, never made it Thursday morning.

The school principal was too distraught to talk on camera, but it seems everyone in Saucier is familiar with the problem.

"Something definitely needs to be done," says lifelong Saucier resident Wayne Jones.

Jones is active with the merchant's group in Saucier. The group has attended meetings with M-DOT to discuss the safety concerns at that crossing.

"In the mornings during school, there's lots and lots of traffic. People driving pretty fast on Highway 49. Take your mind off for one second and there's an accident," he said.

Roy Davis is one of the locals who'd like to see something done.

"I've said it for years. They need a red light here. I had a brother in law who had a wreck here six or seven years ago. You see it all the time. People pulling out in front of each other," he said.

Everyone we talked with told us that excessive speed is a big contributing factor to make it a dangerous intersection. Although it's posted at 45 miles an hour, few drivers seem to travel anything close to that.

"It's a location that has wrecks," the Highway Patrol's Joe Gazzo freely admits.

He says troopers run special enforcement at the intersection from time to time. But the real answer may be driver awareness and added caution.

"I think the way traffic goes on 49, if you've got someone going over the speed limit, somebody looks and thinks they've got it cleared. Then they pull out and they're hit," said Gazzo.

Driver awareness and attention may be the only solution for now. M-DOT says there are no plans to install a stop light at the intersection.

In fact, highway commissioner Wayne Brown says a stop light may not be the best solution to increase safety. He says statistics show that adding a light doesn't necessarily reduce accidents or fatalities.

Brown says this year's opening of the new Highway 67/49 interchange should help. That interchange is located just north of the existing crossing. It should mean less traffic trying to cross the road at the dangerous spot.