Is it possible that North Carolina’s public highways aren’t being made safe enough for the taxpayers who use them? What qualifies an intersection for more safety features than another? Does it take a fatal accident to prove the dangers of an intersection? Collision scene

Legislators and officials at the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) should ask themselves these questions as they consider the deaths of four incoming freshmen at Wingate University.

On the morning of Saturday, August 14, 2010, Arielle Parker, 18 of Greensboro was in an automobile accident at an intersection that has been considered unsafe by local residents for many years. Tragically, both she and driver Mi’Shawn Miller, 18, of Fayetteville, were killed instantly when Miller failed to stop his car at the intersection of Old Pageland-Monroe and White Store roads and was struck by a grain truck. No charges have been filed against the driver of the truck.

According to the official accident report, the driver of the truck was travelling at the posted speed limit of 45 mph and simply did not see Miller’s car until it was too late. If this is true, perhaps the state of North Carolina is liable for the injuries and deaths associated with this accident. Local residents say that more warning signs have been needed to alert motorists about this intersection.

It’s possible that the fatal collision could have been avoided if the NCDOT had made sure that the intersection was clearly marked. Residents claim that additional stop signs, rumble strips, or a stoplight would make the intersection safer.

Our sincere concern goes out to the survivors and their families, as well as the loved ones and many friends that Arielle Parker and Mi’Shawn Miller have left behind. I hope that the NCDOT will consider the potential hazards of this particular intersection in order to ensure motorists’ safety in the future.

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