By: Taneshia Heineman
CORVALLIS- A T-bone crash between a car and an 18-wheeler sent a woman to the hospital with serious injuries on Wednesday March 9. The woman’s condition is currently unknown. However, residents in the area have filed a variety of complaints about the highway being an unsafe road for drivers for quite some time.
As one of the busiest roads in the Mid-Willamette area, Highway 34 becomes increasingly more dangerous with every car and truck that travels through there at a time, with an estimated average of 24,000 vehicles passing by Oakville Road every day. Lisa Douglas Garcia, a resident who is a frequent Highway 34 motorist, has made requests for a traffic light to be put in place multiple times, but her requests have been shot down.
“It’s posted for 55, but the average traffic is going 65 to 70 (mph) through there.” Said Douglas Garcia in an interview with Tom Adams. The crash on Wednesday is the last one Douglas Garcia wants to see. She says she has lived in the area for 46 years, and has been witness to too many fatal crashes on that highway with vehicles trying to turn left onto Oakville Road.
“But we’re asking for a stop light, a stop light. And they said it wasn’t warranted.” Says Douglas Garcia.
Angela Beers-Seydel from ODOT Public Affairs responded to this statement by claiming, “People are going a lot faster than they do on many rural roads and they’re not expecting to see a traffic signal.” Beers-Seydel studied the intersection and claimed that a traffic signal would be counterproductive and could lead to high-speed rear end crashes.
However, in more recent news, the ODOT has agreed that something needs to be done to ensure more safety for drivers on Highway 34, and the installation of a rumble strip in the middle of the road to prevent people from turning through the wrong lanes is in the plans. “We’re all about safety and we really want to make this as safe a roadway as possible,” Beers-Seydel said in a final interview on the topic.