Cedar Park intersection where 2 boys died scrutinized over speed, turn arrows

Intersection of West Whitestone Boulevard at Walton Way in Cedar Park. (KXAN Photo)
Intersection of West Whitestone Boulevard at Walton Way in Cedar Park. (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Business owners in Cedar Park were not surprised a major crash happened at the intersection of Walton Way and West Whitestone Boulevard, saying crashes happen there quite often.

Wednesday, a pickup truck and an SUV wrecked, killing 1-year-old Daniel Chaudhary and 8-year-old Elijah Chaudhary. They were being driven by a 31-year-old woman who remains in critical condition.

Cedar Park police are still trying to figure out what caused the crash.

“You couldn’t even recognize it was a van, I thought it was a coupe,” said Zira Julio, who saw the crash as she was leaving Effective Sign Solutions. Her shop has been on this intersection for nearly 7 years and she says wrecks are common.

Two children died in a two-vehicle crash on W. Whitestone Boulevard and Walton Way in Cedar Park on Jan. 10, 2018. (KXAN Viewer Photo)
Two children died in a two-vehicle crash on W. Whitestone Boulevard and Walton Way in Cedar Park on Jan. 10, 2018. (KXAN Viewer Photo)

“There are one to three a week — if sometimes not more, especially in the summertime,” said Julio.

She agrees with her coworker Jennifer Galle that there are two concerns. First, she says the 50 mph speed limit is too fast for such a busy area. Then, the left turn flashing yellow arrows confuse drivers. There is a sign that notifies drivers of the arrow. Many crashes, they say, happen when drivers make a U-turn and hit oncoming traffic or cars taking a right out of Walmart’s parking lot.

“They go, oh yeah, I have plenty of time to make my [U-turn]. You don’t. You shouldn’t make one unless there is no traffic coming because they’re coming at a high speed,” said Julio.

Galle urged drivers to wait until they know they’re clear to go. “I have people honking at me all the time because I just won’t go. I just wait because it’s so dangerous, especially with kids in the car.”

The city of Cedar Park chose the flashing yellow arrows. The city hasn’t said if they will change them, but they do plan on expanding the intersection to include right turn lanes as part of their community development program.

The speed limit is up to TxDOT because this is also Farm to Market 1431. A spokesperson says the department is not considered changing it, in part because they have not received any official requests recently about this speed limit.

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