TxDOT reevaluates traffic signals along stretch of deadly highway

CALDWELL COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The latest person to die on a highway in Caldwell County in the last few weeks was laid to rest Friday.

Daniel Cannon of Lockhart died while riding with his 17-year-old son along U.S 183 about five miles north of Lockhart. Their car was rear ended and pushed into the median and was just one of many recent crashes in the area.

Billy Butler was in a car crash last month. “I was headed to work, it was misting rain and I stopped at a flashing red light, looked both ways, took off, and boom, I got hit.”

Butler looks back on that rainy day in December and wonders how he survived.

Several surgeries later, a totaled car and a scar under right his eye, he also wonders how many more crashes have to happen before something changes along what he calls a deadly stretch of road.

He was crossing FM 2001 when he says he was hit by a car driving down the State Highway 130 frontage road. “Ever since they built it, all you hear at night is ambulances and police cars going through here.  It’s just terrible.”

Two weeks ago a father and his two sons were killed at the intersection of FM 1185 and U.S 183. It was the second deadly crash at that intersection in two months.

Several drivers told KXAN they want to see more deputies sitting at these intersections, but the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office says they are already short-staffed and don’t have the manpower to do that.

The last time the Texas Department of Transportation evaluated lights along this stretch of road was March 2013. At that time it was determined these intersections didn’t warrant a regular traffic signal. Now the department is reevaluating that decision.

“They’re going to have to do something and its sad they have to have people die before they do it,” Butler said.

In about 30 days, there were three deadly crashes along the stretch of highway in Caldwell County that killed five people. Since April 2013, there have been 86 collisions in the 10-mile stretch.

In the two years prior, there were five deadly wrecks.

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